Trabzon wants to win to prove title ambitions

Trabzon wants to win to prove title ambitions

Özgür Korkmaz - ISTANBUL
Trabzon wants to win to prove title ambitions

Trabzonspor will try to prove its credentials as a serious title contender when it hosts defending champion Galatasaray in the Turkish Süper Lig match on Dec. 1.

Having been hit by a series of injuries, Trabzonspor coach Ünal Karaman has been forced to return to its young guns, all of whom have been raised in the Black Sea club’s academy.

A 1-0 loss at home against Getafe in a Europa League game on Nov. 28 added to the club’s European woes, but coach Karaman, a former Trabzonspor player, was not bothered by the result.

“We had six young players on the field tonight, and they all did their bests,” Karaman said after the game.

“Of course, we would like to win with any squad, but we played against a respectful opponent, and I’m very happy about the level of play.”

Trabzonspor has been famous for the players it raised. Home-grown players brought the club six Turkish league titles in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it has since mostly been out of the trophy competition.

Pressured by the club’s poor finances, and injuries, Trabzonspor returned to its roots this season. The team sits in the second spot after 12 games, with six wins and four draws.

Galatasaray, on the other hand, is having a troubled season. A 1-1 draw at home on Nov. 26 against Club Brugge in a Champions League game extended the Istanbul’s club’s winless streak on the European stage to 13 games.

It has won five league games and sits in the eighth spot, five points behind leader Sivasspor.

The surprise leader, meanwhile, hosts Kasımpaşa on Nov. 30., hoping to extend its winning streak to five games.

But Sivasspor coach Rıza Çalımbay is cautious on talking about his side’s title chances.

“It is not easy to become the champion,” he told reporters mid-week.

“We must exceed what we have done so far. The current performances will not make us the champions.”

Also on Nov. 30, Rizespor hosts Konyaspor, Alanyaspor wants to end its two-game losing streak at home against Ankaragücü and Fenerbahçe travels to İzmir to play Göztepe.

Başakşehir, which lost 3-0 at home to AS Roma in Europa League game on Nov. 28, has a home game against Antalyaspor on Dec. 1, when Gaziantep takes on visiting Denizlispor.

Beşiktaş hosts cellar-dweller at home on Dec. 2 in the last game of Week 13 competition in the Turkish Süper Lig.