A draw is not a train smash – Shakes Mashaba

2014-10-16 10:13

Bafana Bafana lack game intelligence to get themselves out of tough situations.

This was the verdict of coach Shakes Mashaba after his team played to a goalless draw with Congo-Brazzaville in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane last night.

Mashaba said if his players were mentally stronger they would have beaten the Red Devils but this was not the case.

However, he defended them, saying it was still early days and promised to work on their mental strength.

“There were situations when they should have taken things into their hands apart from what the technical team was saying. We needed players with big hearts and who would take decisions but it is something we will work on,” said Mashaba.

He still believed in the selected players, saying they were the cream of the crop, but said he would pick others if they deserved to be in the team.

“Why fix it if it is not broken?” asked Mashaba.

He was happy with the outcome of the game, conceding it was a difficult one as Congo had a great plan.

“They came here not to lose the game and this frustrated us as they packed their defence and made it impossible for us to play. I think it was an evenly balanced game up to a certain stage. We should have buried it in the first 20-25 minutes. Our strikers were stronger than their defenders, but most importantly we lacked mental intelligence upfront. It was a good game. They came with a game plan; they wanted a draw. You could see the way they were playing. They didn’t worry much about going forward,” said Mashaba.

He also added that the weather conditions were not conducive for Bafana players as they were not used to playing in wet conditions after a downpour during the game.

“Most of the time our players are not good visitors to this weather.”

He said his players did not play their normal game as the visitors made it difficult.

“I think [Thulani] Serero was a little bit stagnant and he never gave us what he gave us in Congo, maybe because of those two flying tackles in the first half.”

Mashaba said he was happy that Bafana were still in control of the group and still had a chance of qualifying if they beat Sudan in the next game at home.

But he cautioned against the pressure of playing in front of home supporters and said it was no longer a luxury playing at home.

“We are doing well and we are on track. We have six points still to play for and we have to make sure we get them. A draw is not a train smash.

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