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Allan backs Birds’ risky style as they travel to Bucs

Swallows, Pirates without key stars in original Soweto derby

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Keegan Allan of Swallows
Keegan Allan of Swallows
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

While Moroka Swallows’ defence has come under scrutiny amid their new found philosophy of building from the back, defender Keegan Allan has revealed that they aim to be the lowest conceding side in the DStv Premiership.

Swallows take on Orlando Pirates in a fixture many dub as “the original Soweto derby” at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday (7.30pm). The Birds will be without their leading goalscorer Tshegofatso Mabasa, who’s on loan from Pirates, alongside instrumental midfielder Lantshene Phalane due to suspensions. Pirates’ Thabang Monare is also suspended.

The Birds have leaked just seven games, four more than Mamelodi Sundowns, who hold the record of fewer goals conceded in the thus far, despite having played the fewest games. Some of the goals the Birds have leaked were a result of failed attempts of building from the back. 

In their previous outing, a 1-0 defeat at home to another Soweto rival, Kaizer Chiefs, nearly two weeks ago, Swallows tried to build from the back and failed to get out of their half before they were dispossessed by Yusuf Maart, who set up Christian Saile to net the winner for Amakhosi.

“In terms of our defensive record in the league, I believe we have the second best record behind Sundowns. So, it’s a big positive,” Allan said.

“We still want the record of being the best defence in the league... coach Steve [Komphela] wants us to be No 1 in every department, he implements that attitude into us. He demands excellence. It’s enjoyable to be playing under him.”

Allan believes they play an exciting brand of football, insinuating sometimes they pay the price for taking risks by initiative attacks through knocking the ball around from the back.

“In terms of how we play, it’s an exciting style of football. It comes with ups and downs but at the end of the day it’s exciting for the club to be playing football like we do,” the Birds defender said.

“I can’t look forward and I can’t look at what I’ve left behind. I have to only focus on the day that I have and the day that I have has been a blessing. I am enjoying myself at Swallows... tomorrow will take care of itself.”

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