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Bird's captain remaining optimistic 26/03/04
Moroka Swallows are still very much in the race for the Castle Premiership title, despite losing two points when they drew 0-0 with Wits on Wednesday night, according to the Birds captain, Goodman Mazibuko.

"We did not play well as a unit against Wits and in the first 10 minutes we were on top of them but we did not punish them," said Mazibuko, who performed well in the heart of the Bird's defence.

"We should have scored in those opening minutes because the Students were on the back foot. As the match progressed they came back into the game and they were putting pressure on us," admitted the captain of the Beautiful Birds.

He confirmed that coach Gavin Hunt also said afterwards in the changing room that the team did not function properly as a unit for the whole game.

"We have been playing well this season but we have been our own worst enemies sometimes. We have not been consistence in our performances.

"We have been letting ourselves down, we should be on top of the table if we had managed to keep our top form," said Mazibuko, who manfully  shouldered the blame for the players' on and off the field performances.

He said the players are now focused on their next match against Black Leopards on Saturday in Venda.

"We have eight games left in the season and we want to concentrate on one game at a time. Our next game is against Leopards and we know that it will be very hard because of the heat in Venda, but now we know our previous mistakes and we will do our level best to try and take all three points per match from now on."

With two games to play against Kaizer Chiefs in the their remaining matches, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder said that Swallows players will be motivated by playing Chiefs back to back.

"We have the players and the best coaching staff to win the league because the league is still open to any team to win it," said Mazibuko, who started his football career with Free State Stars before moving to Orlando Prates and then to Swallows, where he was rewarded by Hunt with the captain's arm band.

He finished by encouraging the Swallows supporters to be patient with the players and to rally behind the team even if the players are not playing their best.

"We need the fans to keep on supporting us like they have been doing for the whole season. We are so near to winning the league and we need them to help the players by supporting us," he appealed.

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