At some point this season, if Zeca Marques can launch Moroka Swallows into full flight, he might just find himself able to avoid the ‘Gordon Igesund’ question.
Igesund’s success in his Birds tenure was always going to leave the new man with hefty boots to fill. And in Dobsonville yesterday, he was again forced to defend his ability to replace the new Bafana coach.
“I think comparisons are unfair,” said Marques.
“I am not Gordon. Gordon has done wonders in South African football. He is one of the better coaches I have ever worked with, if not the best. He could easily be coaching overseas. I am coming in new, I have nothing to show for myself. It is for me to prove myself, and the way to do that is winning trophies.”
It is also fair to cut Marques a little slack at the start of his tenure, particularly as his opening three games of the season have hardly been a disaster, if something of a mixed bag.
Swallows have every chance of making it to the MTN8 final, following a good win over AmaZulu, and an enthralling away draw at Mamelodi Sundowns in the semis.
They did, however, lose their opening Absa Premiership game at Platinum Stars, putting an extra onus on their home encounter with Ajax Cape Town this evening.
“We are focused solely on Ajax and we want the three points,” said Marques, whose side play Sundowns in the MTN8 semi-final second leg on Sunday.
“If we want to be on top at the end of the season, every point is vital, and we need to recover from that last match (against Stars).”
And Marques believes Swallows, who finished second last season, can capture the title this time around.
“Personally, I would love to win the league. I know it’s a huge task, the opposition have strengthened extremely well, while we have kept the same squad. I have faith in my players”
Swallows have added only winger Felix Obada to their ranks so far, though former Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows marksman Katlego Mashego is also on the verge of signing.
“He just has to put pen to paper,” said Marques, who believes Mashego is signing a two-year deal. “He has a big temperament, he is technically gifted and has a great left foot. He definitely adds lots of value.”
Marques, meanwhile, expects a great game against Ajax.
“Ajax play, in my opinion, the best brand of football in South Africa,” he said. “They are technically gifted and are really a team I respect, because of the way they like to play.”
Swallows will again be without David Mathebula this evening as he continues his recovery from injury. “David has started kicking the ball ... within a week and a half he should be good to go, but he will have missed a month of training and will need to catch up from a physical point of view,” said Marques.