Moroka Swallows - SuperSport United Preview: Coaches under pressure as draw kings take on out of form Birds
Swallows coach Zeca Marques is becoming the leading candidate as the next PSL coach out of a job, unless he can arrest the slide when they host SuperSport in the PSL on Friday
By Ian Malcolm
The Birds were beaten 2-0 at Lamontville Golden Arrows on Tuesday night and are now winless in their last seven matches. They have taken just two points from the last 18 available in the league, a run that has seen them slip alarmingly towards the relegation zone.
It is a far cry from their success in winning the MTN8 in September, and with just four points separating them and bottom side AmaZulu, the alarm bells are ringing.
Speaking on the recent loss to Golden Arrows, Marques says the players are simply not carrying out training ground plans on the pitch. Worryingly, he also admitted to them having problems both on attack and defence.
“We spoke to the players before the game; my biggest concern was that we were conceding goals from set-pieces and once again we conceded a goal from a corner,” said Marques.
“As much as you practice these situations, as much as you talk to the players, at the end of the day it boils down to someone not doing their job.
“Otherwise, I thought we were much better defensively, unfortunately upfront we did not create enough chances to score. If you don’t create chances and you concede at the back, there’s only one result you can get and that is a negative result.
“As well as we played in the middle of the park, as well as we contained them, we were not effective upfront and we also need to sharpen up at the back.”
SuperSport drew their 11th game in 13 league matches on Tuesday night, leaving coach Gavin Hunt tearing his hair out.
They had looked set for victory before an own goal from Thabo September two minutes from time meant they had to be happy with a point yet again.
It is hard to know just how much threat Hunt’s position at the club is under, he is much revered within the halls of SuperSport, but they are also a club who expect to be among the league leaders, not languishing in 10th position as they are now.
But the coach feels they are just a whisker away from being a successful side.
"Of the 11 draws, we should have won eight games at least. We were unlucky here and there, so where would those wins have taken us?" Hunt says.
"The players have done great, there's not much more I can ask for from them," he added. If you come down to training and you watch these players work, they work their socks off every day."What is clear is that the losing coach in this match, if there is to be one, will be a little hotter under the collar come next week.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- SuperSport are fast approaching the record for the most draws in a season – 17 – achieved by Free State Stars and Santos in the 2004/05 season.
- Gavin Hunt was coach of Swallows between 2002 and 2007 and led them to the 2004 Absa Cup.
- Swallows have won just four of the last 18 encounters between these two sides, though seven of those games have been drawn.
- They did win the last one though, the MTN8 final in September when they ran out 2-1 victors to lift the trophy.
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