Friday, January 26, 2007

Korkmaz Says Erciyesspor Ready for Fenerbahce


Tonight's Turkcell Super Lig matchup will see two sides fighting for different reasons. Fenerbahce sits atop the league with a seven-point cushion over second place Galatasaray. The Canaries are committed to not faultering like last season, squandering a comfortable lead and losing the league title down the stretch. Kayseri Erciyesspor, on the other hand, is just fighting to stay alive. With the season halfway over, the side is fighting for points to avoid relegation. Despite losing to Fener 6-0 to start the season, Erciyesspor has a renewed hope for tonight's game.

After picking up only 11 points in 17 matches to start the season, Erciyesspor manager Werner Lorant was released from his contract and the team brought in former Turkish international Bulent Korkmaz. Korkmaz is no stranger to Fener, as he spent nearly 18 years with their rivals Galatasaray. Along the way, Korkmaz picked up a UEFA Cup title, a UEFA Super Cup championship, and nine league titles. Kayseri is hoping that he'll bring his winning attitude and experience to the club. He got off to a promising start after joining the club during winter camp in Antalya. Just last week, he lead Erciyesspor to a 4-2 win over Bursaspor on the road sending them to the Fortis Turkish Cup quarterfinals.

With renewed optimism, Korkmaz believes success can come to Kayseri Erciyesspor. "I have joined the team at their mid-season training camp in Antalya," he said. "I have discussed our plight with them positively and we looked into ways of avoiding relegation this season. The people of Kayseri are behind us and I'm optimistic we can overcome the difficulties ahead of us. In order to do so, we need everybody to contribute. The first match against Fenerbah├že will be the beginning of a whole new era for Erciyesspor."

Tonight's game will see which of the two teams fights the hardest. The one fighting for a championship, or the one fighting to stay alive.

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