2 minute read
9 Apr 2014
12:45 pm

Marques lays into poor defensive display

Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques has criticised his defence for conceding a late goal against the University of Pretoria, which led to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the Tuks Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Zeca Marques, former Moroka Swallows coach. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images.

Despite taking the lead through Roger da Costa midway through the first half, Swallows allowed Tuks back into the game before the interval, before conceding a late header to Grant Kekana, who condemned the Birds to their sixth defeat in 10 games, and second in a row.

“Story of our lives. Again, we played well, but you know what, at the back, if you’re leaking, then you can’t expect anything else and that’s the reality of this game,” Marques said after watching his troops relinquish 10th spot to Tuks and slipping down to 12th.

“I told the guys about the far corner, I told the guys about the far post, we never picked up when we should have and we conceded a goal against the run of play.

“Those are things you tell players as a coach. That’s what you expect them to do. Everyone has a responsibility. It was a set-piece again where I thought we should have dealt better with the situation and if you’re not dealing with the situations, you’re going to pay the price — that’s the bottom line.”

Swallows have had a season to forget and face the prospect of finishing outside the top eight for a second successive season, despite finishing runners-up just two seasons ago.

Marques admitted that a top half finish looked out of reach for his outfit.

“It gets further and further. At this stage, we just want to stay away from the bottom.

“Top eight? I think we must be happy at this stage just by staying [away from the relegation zone].”

Quizzed about the remainder of Swallows’ four fixtures, which included tricky ties with title-chasing Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, Marques said he was hoping for an improved display from his charges, particularly in defence.

“Hopefully not what we’ve seen lately. I hope we don’t concede goals the way we’re conceding. We have to tighten up defensively.

“We have to have a bit more of a sense of urgency, we have to realise that Swallows’ future depends on what we do as a team.

“As a coach, it’s frustrating. It doesn’t matter how much you practice and what you do, these things should never happen.

“They do happen, but with us they happen frequently and then you have a problem.”