Birds coach in a race against time


The refrain “we should have had the maximum points” has become such a part of his post-match interviews that an uninformed observer would think he’s reading from a script.

And while he might be right, Rosslee would do well to sing from another sheet.

After all, what use is it to lament what could have been. A coach’s job is to ensure his team gets the job done, at all costs – and so far Rosslee is failing.

Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at the University of Pretoria should easily have been a win, Swallows dominating proceedings but lacking that killer instinct which has contributed directly to their looking set for relegation.

Yet there was Ross-lee, holding counsel with the media hounds on the pitch long after the final whistle had blown, waxing lyrical about his team’s “good, organised performance” and the fact his goalkeeper “never had to make a save”.

Well, it would all be grand had Sage Stephens stopped Atusaye Nyondo from cancelling out Vuyisile Wana’s strike.

But when you are in the throes of relegation, playing pretty counts for nothing, especially when it does not bring home the desired three points. And this was the case with the Birds at Tuks Stadium as it was nearly two weeks ago in Polokwane where they had the same result against SuperSport United.

Just as against Matsatsantsa, Swallows scored first on Tuesday but failed to defend their lead, or better still add to it, against a side that never really came to play. “It feels like a massive loss given our dire situation,” Rosslee said of the result “We should have been more like the Italians that when we go 1-0 up we don’t concede, especially a goal like the one we did.”

No use saying that after the match though, is it? A good coach would have explained such things to his players before the match. Now Swallows are left to hope for miracles although Rosslee seems to believe they still have their fate in their own hands.

With just three matches remaining in their campaign they better do that fast or prepare for life in the lower division. Tomorrow night they host a Maritzburg United outfit that was beating Ajax Cape Town 1-0 on Tuesday night as Swallows settled for a point at Tuks.

Thereafter there’s a duo of tough clashes against Ajax and Bloemfontein Celtic, making for a bleak outlook for Swallows’ future as one of only five ever-present teams in the elite league since the founding of the Premier Soccer League in 1996. - The Star

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