Birds and United brace for final clash

2012-09-22 08:00

The coaches of both teams are looking forward to a tough contest when Moroka Swallows meet SuperSport United in the MTN8 final at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

United boss Gavin Hunt said his side could gain a lot of momentum for the rest of the season with a victory tonight.

“For us, it could kickstart our season and certainly give us better momentum through the season. I’m sure the money is also good,” Hunt said before the final, with the winning team set to pocket R8 million. We are looking forward to the game, to have a final so early in the season.”

Swallows coach Zeca Marques, preparing for his first cup final, was confident leading up to the clash and expected a stiff challenge from United, former three-time league champions. “It’s my first cup final, so I’m certainly looking forward to this,” Marques said.

“It means a lot to us being in a final. I’m happy we are playing against SuperSport. “It’s going to be an exciting final with two contrasting styles of football.”

United are fresh off the back of a 3-0 drubbing of Amazulu in the league campaign, while Swallows suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat against the University of Pretoria at the weekend. Hunt believes his side will need to fire on all cylinders as Swallows had been in good shape, scoring 12 goals in three league matches.

SuperSport, on the other hand, have not conceded in their last three league clashes. “I don’t see it as an attacking team against a defending team,” Hunt said. “I think we’ve created a lot of chances in the games we’ve played.

“We just haven’t had the finishing touch sometimes here and there, but for me it’s about being organised and making sure we are creating chances. “We are a team that don’t rely on one department. We play together and we attack from the back and defend from the front.

“If you do that properly, it’s going to be a helluva game.”

With the domestic season in full swing, Hunt said he would have to rotate his squad in the coming weeks in order to keep his players fit and healthy.

“We have big games on Wednesday and Saturday (next week), so we’ll have to do a little bit of rotation here and there which we normally do just to keep it fresh and lively.”
Marques admitted Siyabonga Nomvethe was still struggling with a foot injury and hinted that the veteran striker would not recover in time for Saturday’s final. “We are assessing him on a daily basis. Even this morning he was at the physio,” Marques said.

“At this stage I think he’s more out than in, to be honest.

“You don’t recover overnight and he hasn’t run for three weeks. “He has done absolutely nothing, so from a physical point of view, it’s going to be difficult for him.

“As I said last week, it’s not just Nomvethe. We have other quality players in our team and we will play with them.

“The show goes on and injuries happen. We can’t stop that from happening.

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