Mar­ques’ vi­sion starts to take shape at San­tos

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REIN­ERS

IT’S taken a while, but the tide ap­pears to be turn­ing at San­tos.

The Lans­downe-based NFD club ap­pointed former Moroka Swal­lows men­tor Zeca Mar­ques as head coach at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son.

But any thoughts of im­me­di­ate im­prove­ment were quickly dis­pelled when the Peo­ple’s Team strug­gled to get go­ing in their open­ing few fix­tures.

Mar­ques, though, was al­ways clear that on step­ping into job, it would be a process and that his phi­los­o­phy would take a lit­tle time to per­me­ate the squad.

On the ev­i­dence of the last few weeks, it looks like things are fi­nally work­ing out. Af­ter go­ing win­less in their open­ing seven games, Mar­ques’ men have now won two on the trot, and they are keen to con­tinue that mo­men­tum when they take on neigh­bours FC Cape Town in a Cape derby at the NNK Rugby Sta­dium in Parow to­day (kick­off 3.30pm).

“The team is com­ing to­gether now, they are fi­nally start­ing to gel,” said Mar­ques. “I think the play­ers now un­der­stand that if they want to be in the pro­mo­tion play­offs or even win the NFD ti­tle, then they have to pick up their stan­dard.

“They have to be com­pet­i­tive and be ready to give their all in ev­ery game.

“I’m now start­ing to see the nec­es­sary in­ten­sity needed… My pri­or­ity is al­ways to ex­plain to the squad the im­por­tance of why they have to do cer­tain things, why they have to play in a cer­tain way, why they have to raise their lev­els.

“You must re­mem­ber that this is a young squad, many of them don’t come from good de­vel­op­men­tal back­grounds, so it’s a process in try­ing to get them to per­form at this level.

“They are hav­ing to take a lot of in­for­ma­tion on board, so I ex­pected that it would take time. But the work ethic is get­ting there and it’s look­ing good… we just have to con­tinue to per­form as we have.”

As things stand, Cape Town All Stars top the NFD log with 22 points, fol­lowed by Baroka FC (21), Witbank Spurs (19) and High­lands Park and Royal Ea­gles (both on 18 points).

As for the other Cape clubs, Mi­lano United are in eighth po­si­tion with 14 points, San­tos 11th and Vasco da Gama 12th (both on 10 points), with FC Cape Town 13th on eight points.

Mar­ques, though, is still en­joy­ing his stay in the Mother City. “What can I say,” he said. “I love this city… The club has been good and the chair­man (Goolam Al­lie) has been very sup­port­ive.

“We have a vi­sion we want to im­ple­ment and it’s slowly start­ing to take shape.”

The San­tos coach, how­ever, ad­mit­ted that they are ex­pect­ing a tough en­counter against FC Cape Town to­day.

“Der­bies are al­ways tough,” he said. “We an­a­lysed FC Cape Town dur­ing our video ses­sions this week, and like all teams they have their strengths and weak­nesses. But we’ve planned well and we’ll be ready.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.