birds look to rebound

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Despite the setback Moroka Swallows suffered earlier this week, after going two games without conceding a goal, the Birds are confident of beating Bloemfontein Celtic this weekend.

The two meet in an Absa Premiership game at the Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday afternoon.

Swallows suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of arch rivals Orlando Pirates, but Celtic could do no better, going down to Kaizer chiefs by the same scoreline.

But Phunya SeleSele, who displayed their soccer wizardry against Amakhosi could have a slight edge over their opponents should they carry that midweek performance to Olympia Park.

Since his return to the Birds, Zeca Marques, one of the best motivational coaches in the league, has helped to get the side's defence to play as a coherent unit.

The likes of Vincent Kobola, James Mayinga and Vinicius da Silva are doing a fine job for the team in defence.

But on Wednesday, the Birds could not fly over the Buccaneers in the rain.

"We're meeting a good team in Celtic, but we've got plans in place to counter their moves," said Marques.

The Swallows strike force of David Radebe and Phumelele Bhengu is not aggressive enough.

They need to be more composed on the ball and not panic in front of goals.

The Birds are one of the most inconsistent sides on the continent, and on their day they can play well but they are a side that one can bet against.

Celtic coach Mich D'Avray said the suspension of defender Ditheko Mototo and the injury to Billy Ratsoane has disrupted his plans for Swallows.

"We have a balanced side all-round, we play fantastic kind of football, but I become frustrated at the end of the day when we don't convert our chances," D'Avray said.

He added that he was pleased with their supporters but said the players needed to bring them some cheer on Sunday.

The combination of Moses Spandeel and Patrick Malokase up front is remarkable.

The side's defence and midfield, led by veteran John Maduka, are solid. But Maduka may not be in the team because D'Avray did not think that at his age it would be easy to play two games in four days.

Phunya SeleSele are playing entertaining football, but their problem is that luck has deserted them.