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Thu Apr 24 01:40:08 SAST 2014

Swallows brace for Bucs rebound

MARC STRYDOM | 31 August, 2012 06:400 Comments
Absa Premiership: Moroka Swallows media open day
Lerato Chabangu during the Moroka Swallows media open day at Delville Sports Ground on August 29, 2012 in Germiston
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

FOLLOWING their cup heroics, Moroka Swallows now turn their attention back to the Absa Premiership and tomorrow night's fixture against a wounded Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium.

Swallows beat Mamelodi Sundowns 6-5 on aggregate over two legs in a dramatic MTN8 semifinal.

They face a Bucs side on the rebound from a tempestuous 3-0 semifinal defeat to SuperSport United, which saw striker Benni McCarthy red carded, scuffles in the stands and general misbehaviour by the crowd.

Birds coach Zeca Marques said this week his main aim had been getting his players' focus back to a crucial league fixture against Bucs.

"According to what we set out for this month, which ends with Orlando Pirates, I'm very happy with what the players have achieved so far," Marques said.

"The guys have been focusing on the next game. We know the importance of the match. It's a Soweto derby, there's a lot at stake.

"There's the pride of the club, and of the players."

Marques said there wasconcern at a defence that had leaked seven goals in three games - the two legs of the MTN semi and a 1-1 league draw against Ajax Cape Town.

"It hasn't been our strong point but we've minimised the goals," Marques said.

"In the last game we conceded from a free kick, which you can't do anything about.

"Defensively, we're getting much better."

The Birds coach said defender Luvhengo Mungomeni, who was substituted injured against Sundowns on Sunday, was available for selection.

Star forward Lerato Chabangu, who has earned a Bafana Bafana recall this week for the friendlies against Brazil and Mozambique, was rested during training on Wednesday with a knock to his knee, but should also be ready for Pirates.

With McCarthy's suspension, Zambian Collins Mbesuma could be fielded as the target man up front.

Bongani Ndulula is a further option for Bucs coach Augusto Palacios.

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