Swallows coach Gavin Hunt has explained the reason he left influential playmaker Samuel 'Sea' Ngobeni out of Sunday's 1-1 Castle Premiership draw with Jomo Cosmos.
Ngobeni has become an integral part of the Dube Birds team, with his playmaking abilities having come to the fore during the current campaign.
He seems to be enjoying the added responsibility that has fallen on his shoulders since the departure of Jabu Mendu to Kaizer Chiefs and has taken his game to a new level this season.
So it would have come as a surprise to the Bird's supporters on Sunday at the Rand Stadium when they saw the team appearing without 'Sea', but Hunt knew what he was doing as the player is only one yellow card away from suspension and Swallows have a vital Absa Cup sem-ifinal clash against Santos on Saturday.
"There was a possibility that Sea would have picked up a yellow card against Cosmos so I did not want to risk it hence I left him out. So if he was on a third booking that means that he was not going to be available for the semifinal game against Santos," the manager is quoted as saying on the Kick Off website.
Hunt's determination to win the Absa Cup at all costs is understandable as he looks to bring the glory years back to the club after coming close to challenging for league honours last season and then being beaten in this season's inaugural SAA Supa 8 final to Cosmos.
The former Hellenic and Black Leopards manager has made a number of big-name signings to help him in his quest - such as Carlo Scott from Sundowns, 'Ninja' Mofokeng from Ajax Amsterdam and Thabang Lebese from Silver Stars, but it is Ngobeni who he will look to on Saturday's semi-final.
"Sea has what it takes to help us go through to the finals. I would be a happy man if we can end up as the Absa Cup champions," Hunt said.
The Mighty Birds face the People's Team at the Rand Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off is at 15H15) and will be out to gain revenge for their 5-1 defeat two months ago at the Athlone Stadium.