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Chiefs wary of Birds

Unbeaten Kaizer Chiefs will not be lulled into a false sense of security when they meet Moroka Swallows in an Absa Premiership Soweto derby at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night. Kick-off is at 8.15pm.

That was the word from Amakhosi skipper Jimmy Tau about the Birds, who are sitting near the foot of the table with only one point from four matches.

“Swallows are a much better side than their league position suggests and they should not be that far down the table,” said Tau Monday. “They are a good side and we expect them to rise to the occasion when we play them, so we will not become complacent or relaxed, thinking it will be easy — it will be a hard 90 minutes.

“Form goes out the window in derby matches, and this will be no different. Swallows are an attacking side and that means they will try to put us under pressure.

“These derbies are what I was dreaming of playing in when I was a youngster and I still have a big appetite to play in them. We promise the fans an exciting derby.”

Tau stressed how important it was to pick up early points.

“We are unbeaten, but dropped two points when we played to a goalless draw against Platinum Stars at home [Rand Stadium] at the weekend. It is vital to collect as many points as possible early in order to lay a sound foundation from where we can launch our challenge for the title.”

Birds coach Rainer Zobel, however, is upset with the way his players have crumbled in the league. “We showed we are a good side by reaching the final of the MTN8, but when we play small teams we seem to lose concentration,” he said.

“I know the players will show a big improvement from the disappointing 1-0 away loss we suffered to Maritzburg United last Friday.”

‘We have to make amends’
The former Bayern Munich star was backed up by two of his players, defenders Ashraf Hendricks and Roger da Costa.

Said the experienced Hendricks: “We did not play well against Maritzburg and were flat. I don’t know what went wrong, but we had nothing in the tank.

“We have to make amends against Chiefs and get our first win under the belt. There would be no better game to turn the corner after a poor start to our league season.

“We are determined to do better, pick up the pieces and get our league season back on track.”

Da Costa is looking forward to playing Chiefs for the first time after playing most of his professional soccer in the United States college leagues.

The 24-year-old Johannesburg-born central defender is enjoying being back home and playing in the PSL for the first time.

“I expect a lot from Chiefs and I reckon they will attack us. I am ready and up for the challenge — it is going to be an interesting 90 minutes for me.” — Sapa

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