/ 4 November 2011

Igesund vows Swallows will surprise against Pirates

Moroka Swallows will be a different outfit against Orlando Pirates in Dobsonville on Saturday, coach Gordon Igesund said on Thursday.

“We are at home now so we’ll definitely use a different strategy to the one we used on Wednesday and look to be more attacking,” said Igesund.

“But Pirates have got depth and are a good side, plus I hear that [injured striker] Benni McCarthy might be back for them.”

Pirates scored a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw with Swallows in a robust midweek league match at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.

The Birds are set to be without injured Giorgi Nergadze in midfield, but former Buccaneer Bennet Chenene has recovered from his injury.

“I believe that they are a good team, and for them to grab a last gasp goal just showed the character that they have within them,” Igesund said.

“But we have a team that is doing well and in the league and playing with great confidence. A good thing is that we will have Chenene back in midfield for us.”

Looking towards improving
Igesund’s Pirates counterpart Julio Leal has been feeling the pressure lately as his side have failed to fire on all cylinders this season.

“The scoring will come. My players must have more confidence to take shots at goal. But we cannot put pressure on them,” Leal said.

“We are not scoring goals as regularly as I would like, as the supporters would like, but we are working hard on improving this capacity.”

Leal, a one-time Swallows coach, said he knew the hosts’ strong points and weaknesses ahead of their second meeting.

However, he will miss injured defender Ruben Cloete while midfielder Andile Jali was struggling with a calf strain.

“At least we know the opponent now and not just on paper. We know their strengths and their weak points,” Leal said.

“Since we played each other on Wednesday, no team can say they had more time to recover from the previous match.”

In the afternoon a much-improved Santos will host Platinum Stars at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

While Stars beat Santos 4-1 at home in the league earlier in the season, Dinaledi are not good travellers and have lost all five of their away matches in the campaign.

On Sunday, Bidvest Wits travel to Daveyton where they will play struggling Jomo Cosmos.

The Clever Boys — who beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 in the league on Wednesday — will be wary of the offensive-minded Ezenkosi.

“I thought they were unlucky to lose to Pirates last week and hear that they took the lead in their 3-1 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic last night,” said Wits coach Roger de Sa.

“It’s a Cup so they might play more freely and hold the advantage of being a more physically strong side.”

Cosmos goalkeeper Avril Phali believed his young teammates had the capabilities of causing an upset just as they did against Celtic, winning 3-0 in the competition’s first round.

Fortune has not favoured Jomo Sono’s charges, who have played well despite their current position on the log.

“We need luck because I believe that the game is 90% on luck and 10% hard work,” Phali said.

“We’ve got the players who can do the job for us on the day, I believe.”

Wits will be without suspended midfielder Fabricio Rodriguez while Cosmos welcomes back Vincent Kobola from his one-match suspension.

Ajax tackle Golden Arrows in the weekend’s final cup tie at Cape Town Stadium. — Sapa