Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs’ Bernard Parker admits that it is important to get off to a winning start in the Absa Premiership, but they need to continue that winning trend when they face Moroka Swallows in their second 2011/12 league match of the season.
The match is scheduled to take place at Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 20:00.
The Amakhosi got their season off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Jomo Cosmos in their first league, but Parker suggests that his side will have to win their next five league fixtures to set the yardstick for their campaign.
“It is important to get off to a winning start. In fact, I think it is important to win the first five games because that will set the bar and raise the standard of our play for the rest of the season,” said the striker.
Chiefs may have got their first three points against Cosmos, but their performance was not without its mistakes. After an early goal from debutant Lehlohonolo Majoro the Amakhosi missed a host of chances in front of goal, including a penalty miss by Parker. Only a late goal two minutes from time by Josta Dladla saw them steal victory.
Parker admits he was upset with his own performance, but that would not stop him from staying focused, “Of course I was upset. In the first league game I tried to do too much, I just tried too hard and things didn’t go my way. I will bounce back, though, by staying focused and keep working hard in training.”
On his upcoming opponents Parker says they will be a difficult prospect under coach Gordon Igesund and especially after registering a win in their first league match, “Swallows won their game convincing against Santos and now they are on a high, and they are positive that they can beat Kaizer Chiefs.
“They a ball playing team. They have an experienced coach and will want to surprise us. But we are ready for them.”
In stark contrast to last season Igesund has the Dube Birds playing an entertaining brand of football and it showed in their first league match, a 3-1 away win against Santos.
Instrumental to the win was the Swallows midfield of which David Mathebula was a key part and he puts their success in the first match down to team work, “It was a great team performance by us. The guys worked really hard and showed a lot of character to come back from 1-0 down. We have a good team spirit and we believe in each other.”
Going up against his former team, Mathebula admits it will be no easy prospect, but he has a point to prove, “Chiefs are a quality side with quality players. They will not be easy to beat, but we want to show everyone we are a team to be feared this season. I also want to show my former employers what I can do.”
In head-to-head stats, Swallows and Chiefs have met in 53 league games since 1985. The Amakhosi have traditionally dominated the fixture, claiming 28 wins while suffering just 11 defeats. Fourteen matches have ended in draws.
And, although the stats are not in their favour, the Swallows midfielder believes their fighting spirit will be the difference on Wednesday night, “We are going to fight for all three points. It is our first game at home and we will give everything for a win.”