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SWALLOWS NEWS
Hunt looking for strong finish 21/05/04
Moroka Swallows have seen their league title hopes fade in recent weeks, but coach Gavin Hunt plans to finish off the Birds' league campaign on a high note, starting on Saturday against Ajax Cape Town.

The Dube Birds play the final two games at home - at the Rand Stadium - and Hunt intends to give the loyal Birds fans something to cheer about by winning the final two games.

"I would like to finish off the season on a positive note by keeping our unbeaten record at the Rand Stadium intact," Hunt told the Swallows website.

Apart from a long list of injuries and suspensions, which includes Warren Lewis, Rufus Mokoti, Peter Petersen and Edzai Kasinauyo, foremost on Hunt's list of concerns is the motivation factor.

Swallows are already assured of a top eight finish, but are highly unlikely to finish in the top three places which would have seen the side earn a place in an African competition next season.

They are due to play the Absa Cup final in a few weeks time and Hunt is concerned that his men already have their minds on that game.

"The commitment from the players is not what it should have been in recent games," he said. "I have addressed the team and they know that this is not acceptable.

"I always say that it is up to the players to convince me to pick them and at the moment there are not many who are doing that. It is up to the guys to pick themselves for the Absa Cup final by performing well in our last two league games.

"But for now I am not thinking too much about the final, my focus is to have a good finish in the league."

Hunt realises that his side face a tough challenge against their Cape visitors.

"Ajax have had a great season and are challenging for the league, so this will be a tough encounter for us. However, I felt that when we played them in Cape Town we were unlucky to be beaten 1-0 and we aim to turn that result around on Saturday."

The Birds manager also confirmed that former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana midfielder Dumisa Ngobe has been training with the team.

"Yes, Ngobe is with the club at the moment and we may sign him. He is out of contract so he could be used straight away and could be useful to use as a defender because we are very short in that department at the moment," he said.

Experienced defender Gary McNab pointed out that, despite the Birds not being able to challenge for league honours themselves, they will have a major hand in where the title ends up as they still play both Chiefs and Ajax.

Swallows share the same sponsor with Ajax and are neighbours of fellow Soweto side Chiefs, but McNab says that his team will not be out to do favours to any of these clubs.

"None of the players can afford to do anyone favours. With starting line-up places up for grabs in the final of the Absa Cup, all the players want to do their best to impress the coach and hopefully book their ticket for that game."

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