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Football | Absa Premiership

Zeca Marques © Backpagepix

Marques bemoans Swallows mistakes



Embattled Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques blames his side's five-game losing streak in the league to individual mistakes and negative mentality arising from players' ill-discipline.

''I'm disappointed with the result and overall performance of the team, but these ongoing mistakes by players wanting to be play-makers in defence actually cost us games," Marques said.

"Unfortunately I have just seen re-occurrence of too many mistakes in defence, despite addressing them with the players."

The Dube Birds' misery continued on Sunday when they lost their fifth consecutive match 2-1 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium.

Swallows, the MTN 8 Cup champions, looked destined to turn the tide when they took the lead through a Katlego Mashego goal in the first half.

However, they lost focus in the second half, allowing the Telkom Knockout champions back into the game.

Celtic's Lerato Manzini levelled matters after capitalising on a defensive blunder while Letladi Madubanyana landed the decisive blow.

''We cannot continue playing good football and on the other hand leak in too many goals unnecessarily," the Birds coach said.

"It's a recipe for disaster and it demoralises the team. We should be fighting to win games rather than dealing with ill-discipline."

Marques said he had experienced ill-discipline in the team since the day he replaced Bafana Bafana mentor Gordon Igesund.

''I knew from day one I was going to deal with the challenge to command respect from some players.

"I'm not sure if it's because I served as an assistant coach for a long time. We have not changed much from the time of Gordon."

Marques said his success as a coach at Swallows was in the players' hands.

"If they don't perform I must take responsibility for their actions and face the risk to lose my job. That's the sad reality of football.''

Celtic coach Clinton Larsen said while he was happy with the result he expressed dissatisfaction with the team's overall performance.

''The result was good in our ambitions to finish within the top five at the end of season," Larsen said.

"But we lacked consistency, which is very key to achieve the target we have set ourselves."

Elsewhere on Sunday, Golden Arrows secured a 2-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in Umlazi.

On Saturday, Platinum Stars beat Supersport United 1-0 in Atteridgeville to climb within one-point of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, while Amakhosi were held to a 1-1 draw by University of Pretoria at FNB Stadium.

Mamelodi Sundowns continued their progress up the table with a 2-0 win over Wits at Bidvest Stadium, Chippa United and AmaZulu shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in Cape Town, and Free State Stars defeated Black Leopards 2-1 in Polokwane.

On Friday, second-placed Orlando Pirates beat Maritzburg United 2-1 in Port Elizabeth to keep the pressure on Chiefs, with one round of matches left before the mid-season break.

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