Birds not underestimating Tuks: Marques

By Drum Digital
13 September 2012

Moroka Swallows cannot afford to take the University of Pretoria lightly when the teams meet in a Premiership clash in Dobsonville on Friday evening, according to coach Zeca Marques.

"The fact is, we can't underestimate our opposition, they have made some intelligent signings," Marques said ahead of the contest.

"They want to prove their worth in the PSL and they know what they are up against.

"We don't know what motivates them at the moment so we have got to be very cautious.

"We are going to approach this game with the caution it requires, because we are playing at home.

"We have to win but they are un unknown quantity at the moment."

Swallows are fourth in the league standings, with two wins and a loss from their first three fixtures, while AmaTuks have been the surprise package of the competition thus far, remaining unbeaten and holding rivals SuperSport United to a goalless draw in their last league outing.

The Birds' boss was sweating over the fitness of veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe, who picked up a foot injury in Swallows' 3-0 drubbing of Orlando Pirates two weeks ago.

Marques confirmed Nomvethe would undergo a late fitness test on Friday morning to determine his availability ahead of the evening fixture.

"On Friday, before the match, we will assess and then we will make a decision on his fitness and his availability," Marques said.

"The problem is, because it's his toe and his right foot, that's the foot that he kicks with and everything is based on the right leg.

"It's quite a sensitive part of the foot so we have to be 100 percent sure."

The Portuguese coach said his side would be fully focussed on the task at hand and not allow themselves to think ahead to their MTN8 cup final against SuperSport United next weekend.

"Every competition is important for us and every competition has to be treated with the respect that it deserves," Marques said.

"Sometimes these are the tricky games, these are the tricky matches for us, so we will approach this game on Friday the same way we will approach it the week after."

Meanwhile, in Friday's only other fixture, Maritzburg United host Free State Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Both sides are flying high, with seven points from their first three matches.

Maritzburg are second in the standings, narrowly ahead of Stars on goal difference.

United are fresh off the back of a 2-1 surprise victory over Mamelodi Sundowns, while Stars held table toppers Kazer Chiefs to a goalless draw before the league took a two-week international break.

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