NEWS

Marques lauds technical team



Moroka Swallows head coach Zeca Marques is singing the praises of the Birds' technical team for the team's continued success in 2013.

To say the Birds hotseat has burnt the coach this season is an understatement.

After a joyful start, lifting the MTN8 trophy at the season, the 50-year-old saw his collapse towards the end of 2012, which saw them flirt dangerously with relegation.

Swallows finished bottom of the table of the second quarter of Q-Innovation, after dropping crucial points because of defensive lapses.

They kicked off Q3 with a 2-0 win over Platinum Stars at the end of 2012 and wrapped the quarter up with a tough 1-0 win over Black Leopards to claim second place.

Marques is first to admit that they had to dig deep to claim the maximum in Polokwane against Leopards - who are fighting for their top-flight status.

"It was a great team effort, a gutsy performance by everyone. I'm so glad Lefa got man of the match, he deserved something or a change," the coach said in a chat with morokaswalows.co.za.

"We competed, it wasn't an easy match. Leopards always come at you. They made it tough for us, but we managed to score and once again we grinded the result.

"That's important, that we are starting to grind results, because in the past we couldn't hold on to a result. That has been a huge step up for us and obviously the three points are worth gold."

The Birds made some cunning changes in the match - bringing on Giorgi Nergadze, Katlego Mashego and Oscar Machapa for David Mathebula, Dikgang Mabalane and Siyabonga Nomvethe - to stabilise and add some imputus to the team; as they looked like they were growing frustrated they couldn't crack their opponents' stubborn rearguard.

"If you have a technical team you must use them. I listen to the guys in my technical team," he adds. "Fortunately as a technical team we put our heads together on the bench and our success has been that.

"I started asking questions, I asked (assistant coach) Dennis (Lota), I asked (goalkeeper coach) Edgar (da Silva). The answer from Dennis was to bring on Nerga.

"It was the right choice, in actual fact all our substitutions were the right choices. We brought on Nerga to cool things down, we brought on Mashego who won the game for us and we brought on Oscar who gave extra energy.

"That's how we do it, we analyse the game and look which player on the bench will give that little extra for that moment and we make the call."




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