Parreira says ‘no need to panic’ as key players disappoint

2010-03-04 10:34

BAFANA Bafana head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said there was no need to panic after his side scraped to an unconvincing 1-1 draw against neighbours Namibia – a team consisting of teachers and part-time professionals – at the Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday night.

It took a 70th minute goal from Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela to cancel out Rudolf Bester’s 42nd minute strike that gave the Brave Warriors the lead at halftime.

Parreira, who will be taking his players to Brazil for a month-long training camp at the weekend (the squad was to be named this morning in Durban), said after the draw against the 109th world ranked Namibia he believed he would be able to mould Bafana into a competitive unit before Bafana host Mexico in the opening World Cup Group A match at the new Soccer City on June 11.

Said Parreira: “It is always better to win, but this draw is not the end of the world as we will not face sides like Namibia in the World Cup.

“Namibia defended with 10 men behind the ball and at the World Cup it will be us that will be under pressure in defence.

“It will be totally different.”

Parreira also stated he would have a very different side out against Mexico: “We will have a more experienced team at the World Cup.

“Our preparation will be boosted if we can get players from European clubs released early in May.”

Parreira also said he was hoping to line up four more friendly home matches during May which he would use to fine tune his squad.

Said Parreira of Namibia: “We did alright in the first half but we lacked patience.

“We need to play the ball on the ground more. Once we did that we scored. We had enough chances to win but the main thing is that we learn from these matches.”

One of the lessons is that Lebohang Mokoena is not World Cup material. After a good season for Sundowns the attacking midfielder deserved his recall, but he has not progressed much and wasted far too much possession.

The same can be said of Bafana captain Teko Modise, who is struggling at club and Bafana level and on yesterday’s showing, will struggle to make the cut for the World Cup squad.

“The problem with Modise and (Kaizer Chiefs midfielder) Siphiwe Tshabalala is that they are not playing regularly at their clubs and it shows in their fitness levels.

“They need to play every week at club level,” said Parreira.

The coach would not be drawn to comment on the performances of the three defenders, Bradley Carnell, Bevan Fransman and Bryce Moon.

“I was happy to see them all play and I have a big decision to make on whether I select them for the final camp in May.”

But Parreira was waxing lyrical about Golden Arrows midfield anchorman Thulasizwe Khuboni: “It is no fluke that Khuboni was named Man of the Match in our last two games. He is learning to play his role as a defensive midfielder the way the Brazilians do.

“I am pleased with the way he has developed.”

However, the number one choice in that position is former Arrows skipper Kagisho Dikgacoi who is now playing for Fulham in England.

“We also have the experience of Russian based Macbeth Sibaya in that position. But it is good to have a young player like Khuboni as cover,” said the coach.

Namibia coach Tom Saintfiet, was a happy man: “Bafana are our big brothers but tonight we showed we are now the same size as them.”

Saintfiet praised his side of teachers and amateurs: “We prepared hard and worked hard and were determined to spoil South Africa’s party.

“My plan was to close the door at the back and not allow Bafana to score and hit them on the counter attack, which worked.”

Saintfiet added that with three months to go, Bafana had time to be knocked into a competitive unit: “I do not usually comment on other teams, but Bafana have a great coach and time to get ready.

“I am positive they will come right and do well at the World Cup.”

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