We're still in the running: Bhele
SIYABONGA Nomvethe, the Premier League's leading scorer with 18 goals, has put down a title marker on behalf of Moroka Swallows.
After another two goals on Friday night in the Birds' 5-2 Absa Premiership win over Black Leopards in Giyani, the 34-year-old marksman warned Swallows' title rivals - especially league leaders Orlando Pirates - that it's not over yet.
"Swallows are still in the running and have a pretty good chance," said Nomvethe, who has returned to the Bafana Bafana squad.
"We deserve to be in the race for the league title."
With only two more games in the league to go, Pirates are now two points ahead of Swallows, who in turn are one in front of Mamelodi Sundowns.
SuperSport United and Free State Stars are on 48 points and Kaizer Chiefs, with a game in hand, are five adrift of Stars and United.
Nomvethe's optimism was based on a ruthless performance in Giyani where Mpho "Zico" Maleka also scored twice for Swallows and Giorgi Nergadze made it five.
He said there were no anxieties at Swallows, at the same time revealing a grim determination.
"We are not worried about what Pirates or Sundowns are doing," said Nomvethe. "We are left with two games against Platinum Stars and Maritzburg United to complete the league season. Our aim is to win both to intensify our challenge.
"This has been an incredible season for us," he said of a season in which the Beautiful Birds have dramatically turned around their fortunes from the last campaign where they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 13th on 32 points.
If they win their last two games, they will be just seven short of doubling that.
Nomvethe, one of the oldest players in the league, is favourite to win the Golden Boot award and Swallows coach Gordon Igesund, who turned around the failing club after joining Birds during their desperate days in 2010, is odds on to be coach of the year.
Club chairman Leon Prins praised Igesund and the players for reviving the side's fortunes this season.