Moroka Swallows defender Roger da Costa is excited about the Birds' prospects in the second part of the season and being involved.
The 26-year-old has had a tough task breaking Luvhengo Mungomeni and Ashraf Hendricks' partnership in the heart of the Birds' rearguard in his two years in the Nest.
In this exclusive interview with morokaswallows.co.za, the defender opens up about the festive season, preparations for the continuation of the campaign, being the side's good-luck-charm and transfer talk.
How was the festive season break? "It was nice and relaxed; I didn't want to do too much. We needed it, because it was a tough first half of the season for us, and you don't want to go on holiday and harm your body only to come back and suffer, so it was nice to just relax."
It must have felt good to play in the last few games towards the halfway break? "Yes, it's been a long two years. Under Gordon I didn't get too many chances, but that's football; the other guys were playing well. I guess you have to wait and take your chances and I'm glad I did, especially in the last game because we got the three points which we needed."
Your return into the starting eleven coincided with a win; that must make you feel great? "MacBeth Sibaya was saying that I am the good-luck-charm, but in all honestly it was a team effort; everyone played well that day. It was do-or-die for us and we're just hoping to carry that form now into the second half of the season."
You've just done some gym and running exercises to get you guys back to full fitness. Are you itching to get back onto the pitch? "Yesis, hell yeah, we're not track athletes mate, we're footballers. But this is an important part of preparations, just for the muscles. We've played a few light friendlies as well. There are a few more coming up now, and the guys are dying to step it up a little bit and get a feeling for the ball. But yes, we need this; everyone has been working hard and pushing themselves for a better performance in the second half of the season."
How does it sit with you, to hear and read about supporters calling for strengthening of the centre-back position? "The fans have their opinion and they are entitled to that, so does the media. The performances in the first half of the season weren't the centre-backs' fault only. It's not nice to see and read these things, we do take them personally; but like I said they are entitled to their opinion and that's fine. But we are working harder to prove them wrong and make them happy."
What's the big topic amongst the guys at the moment? "We want to break back into the top eight; I think that is important for the club financially and for the fans. We are also looking at a good Nedbank Cup run so we can claim some more silverware."