Johannesburg – Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques says he will not underestimate a Mpumalanga Black Aces side under the shrewd tutelage of Clive Barker, when the teams clash in a Premiership match at Dobsonville Stadium on Friday.
The Birds were fresh off a commendable 1-1 draw against defending league champions Kaizer Chiefs on their home turf on Tuesday, but Marques said Aces could have a few surprises in their pocket.
“Aces I think are going to be one of the sensations of the season,” said Marques.
“They could surprise a lot of people. We don't want to be one of the teams that are surprised.”
Aces scored a 3-2 away win against AmaZulu on Tuesday, but Marques believed his team's result against the Soweto giants was a bigger achievement.
“The Aces game is a perfect game for us. I know they won against AmaZulu.
“But I think Aces will be more concerned with us, than us with them. We drew with Chiefs at FNB Stadium, so that result is a positive result in our favour.
“You can't take Aces for granted though, any win is a win. AmaZulu are a good team.”
In their first home league game Swallows would hope to put in another good performance indicative of the strong squad Marques had at his disposal.
“We're playing at home and people have to respect that.
“At home we play to win and the mindset of the players changes.
“The fact that Aces had a good result affects our players as well. It's about believing in yourself.”
The coach said his charges would have built up some good momentum, and his vision of the way he wanted Swallows to play was close to being fulfilled.
“I think the players are also starting to understand that tactics win games, and tactically we're starting to be a much better team.
“We're a team now that can keep the ball much longer and when teams come at us we don't panic anymore. For me that's a huge step for our players.”
Marques highlighted the performance of Levy Mokgothu, who turns 24 on Thursday, against Chiefs.
“The game against Chiefs was the first game in the PSL the left back.
“Playing against Aces on Friday, Levy has now been well baptised for his second game. He's a youngster for the future and he proved against Chiefs he can play and has a great football brain.”
As for how far this Swallows squad could go, Marques said the sky is the limit.
“There are no bad apples in our squad.
“Number don't always win you championships, and big names don't win you anything. We've assembled a squad that can make this a competitive league.”
Friday fixture: Moroka Swallows v Mpumalanga Black Aces (Dobsonville Stadium). - Sapa