Parreira backs Mokoena to lead Bafana next year

2009-12-08 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has backed Aaron Mokoena to lead the hosts at next year’s World Cup.

The Portsmouth man has been persistently criticised for his inconsistent form for the national team, prompting calls for him to be dropped from the squad.

Parreira, however, has leapt to Mokoena’s defence, insisting the heavily-capped skipper remains an integral member of the Bafana cause.

“In every organisation there has to be hierarchy. The team needs support and experience and Aaron has it, having played more than 90 matches for his country. He would not have achieved all this if he did not have something special within him,” Parreira told the Sowetan.

“We cannot play with a team made up of young and inexperienced players.”

The Brazilian-born mentor added: “We believe in our own ability, in our own technique and we will claim our right to fight for a place in the second round.”

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz, meanwhile, believes Bafana will progress past the first round of the 2010 World Cup.

The former South Africa coach also said the hosts will impress at the showpiece next year.

“There’s only one way for South Africa and that is to improve and progress. Carlos Alberto Parreira is a world-class coach who has won the World Cup. I have worked here before and have seen the current team play. There is potential,” Queiroz said after Friday’s World Cup Final Draw in Cape Town.

“With the support of the home fans, Bafana Bafana can impress. This is a specific competition where the hosts always do well and with a good manager and the fans, everything could go their way.”

Any likelihood of South Africa progressing from the group stage of the 2010 World Cup could hinge heavily on the outcome of the tournament’s opening match, where South Africa meet Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

 

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