The Birds boss says opponents prize their scalp after recent trophy successMoroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques will hope to find some consistency in his side’s performances in the coming weeks, starting with a home win over battling Chippa United at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.
The club’s last six matches have provided two wins and three defeats, form that has seen them languishing in mid-table and well short of the high standards set last season when they finished second.
Marques believes his side are victims of their own success in a way, becoming the team to beat following their lofty position in the league last season and their success in winning the 2012 MTN8.
“What has become clear now is that we're the team to be beaten,” Marques told reporters.
“People come out to beat us, so we've got to raise our game. We've got to show why we're champions and this is it. Sometimes these situations come as a wake-up call.''
“We have to pick ourselves up from this and realise that going forward, if we want to be among the top teams, we've got to raise our game as well.''
''I think this squad is solid, but unfortunately we've got to now start thinking differently. The players have to start thinking differently as well.''
“Everyone who comes to play against us, wants to outsmart us, wants to outperform us, because they want their names in the papers the next day.”
The latest defeat came in a meek 2-0 reversal at BidVest Wits in midweek, leaving Swallows eight points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs in a season in which they will have expected to be title challengers.
Chippa United presents an opportunity to get back on track though, the plucky Cape Town side proving fairly solid at their home base, but with just one point away from home this season.
Caretaker coach Farouk Abrahams was pleased with the fight shown by his side when they twice came from behind in midweek to draw 2-2 with SuperSport United, but he will know as well as anyone that they need to start winning matches if they are not to be embroiled in a relegation scrap this season.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- This will be the first ever meeting between Moroka Swallows and Chippa United.
Chippa midfielder Mfundo Shumana was once on the books of Swallows, but left after being denied first team opportunities. He will have a point to prove.
- No team in the PSL has scored more than the nine goals Swallows have managed at home this season.
Conversely, Chippa are still looking for their first away goal of the campaign having been held scoreless in four matches to date. They are the only PSL side yet to score away.
Swallows striker Katlego Mashego’s six goals this season puts him second on the Absa Premiership scorers list, behind Kaizer Chiefs Bernard Parker, who has seven.