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Football | Absa Premiership

Dikwena result key to Zeca's job

A beleaguered Moroka Swallows will face the high flying Platinum Stars at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night in the last Absa Premiership match of the year for the two sides, kick-off at 19h30.

Stars come into this match having won the Q-Innovation Second quarter after being the most consistent team in the last seven matches and bagged a cool R1.5 million for their hard work.

But more importantly Dikwena’s recent good results have seen the team occupy third position on the log standings- tied with Orlando Pirates on 31 points- and are breathing down the necks of Kaizer Chiefs whom they trail by just a point.

When Stars beat SuperSport United this past Saturday night it was their ninth victory in their last 10 games, a result that has made the rest of the league take notice.

“We take it one game at a time and we try to play as well as we can in each game,” explains coach Cavin Johnson.

“They [the players] now believe that they can play this game of football. These players love this game and their hard work has paid off.

“If we keep up our progress and we maintain our form going forward, who knows where we could end up? I am very proud of my players’ performance against a strong United team.

“We have done well, but as we have seen in the past, a winning team has a lot to lose,” added the Stars boss. “The players understand that the league is tough, but we want to keep up the pressure and keep up our performances.”

Swallows, on the other hand, who at one point were occupying third spot on the log standings, have slid down a drastic hill of failure.

The Birds are now just two points out of the relegation zone having just amassed 14 points from 15 matches. They have lost nine matches in the league so far, the most by any team.

The Birds once again suffered a league loss when they went down 2-1 away to Bloemfontein Celtic this past Sunday.

Under fire 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.

“Unfortunately I have just seen a re-occurrence of too many mistakes in defence, despite addressing them with the players. We cannot continue playing good football and on the other hand leak in too many goals unnecessarily,” explains Marques.

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

If Swallows lose this match it could be the end of Marques’ tenure as coach of the club after it was rumoured that he had two matches to save his job, the first of which he has lost against Celtic.


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