Johannesburg - Following his side's nervy 2-1 Premiership victory over log-leading SuperSport United on Wednesday night, Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques believes his team was more determined to walk away with the points.
"Today [Wednesday], I think we wanted it more. We had to try and balance the books," Marques said at the Lucas Moripe Stadium after the game.
"We were lagging behind on points. We lost the game against AmaZulu [at the weekend], which I think we never should have lost, but that's how football is.
"Today we came back here with a purpose, determined that there was going to be no way that SuperSport was going to take three points away from us.
"I think it was a question of wanting it more than them today, because on any other day, we know the statistics, Swallows last beat SuperSport five years ago."
Goals in either half by Edward Manqele and 35-year-old Siyabonga Nomvethe sealed victory for the visitors, despite a late fight back which led to Edwin Gyimah pulling one back for United.
"Overall, the most important part of those three points is that we took our chances exceptionally well," Marques said.
"Obviously, I'm more than happy with the three points because that's what this game is about.
"Today we actually didn't play as well as we would have liked, but then again, you play as well as your opposition allows you."
Having clawed their way back into the tie with Gyimah's late header from a Thuso Phala set-piece, United launched wave after wave of attack in an attempt to draw level, but Marques was full of praise for his central defensive pairing of Larry Cohen and Roger da Costa.
"I think the combination with Roger and Larry is really solid. Especially with Roger, he's an aggressive player, he's a no nonsense player and that's what you want," Marques said.
"You want players in moments to be aggressive, and I think Roger and Larry have a good understanding.
"Larry is a bit more of a ball player, Roger is more the aggressive man-marker.
"Defensively, I think we're a bit tidy now. And also, they have nice height and they're not scared to tackle, which is important."
The result ensured Swallows move up to second in the league standings with 10 points, a place above AmaZulu, who beat the Birds less than a week ago in Durban.
Marques said he was pleased to have beaten United, who suffered their first defeat of the new league campaign, but remain at the top of the standings due to a superior goal difference over Swallows and AmaZulu.
"The fact that we won away today is a great morale boost. Psychologically it's huge for us," he said.
"Today we caught up to SuperSport, which for us obviously is a great moment.
"This game is over, tomorrow morning we wake up and focus on Maritzburg United [the next league game], because it's one game at a time... that's how we take it."
Meanwhile, Matsatsantsa boss Cavin Johnson conceded that United had been outplayed, but took several positives from the encounter.
"I thought we had a good couple of chances, but the league is made like this," Johnson said.
"Some you're going to win, some you're going to lose. Today I lost, but in moments, there were things we can build on again.
"We did play some good football, but all credit to Moroka Swallows and Zeca."