Bafana is ready for war

2010-10-03 11:59

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has warned his troops to be prepared for war in formerly war-torn Freetown on Sunday.

With the scars of the decade-long civil war still visible on bullet-riddled walls and unfinished buildings in ­Sierra Leone, Mosimane knows what to expect there and has warned the team to anticipate a ­hostile reception.

The Sierra Leone civil war was known internationally for its horrific atrocities, especially the widespread amputations of people’s limbs, and those images still linger in Mosimane’s mind after his trip there two years ago.

“I know what to expect that side and it won’t be easy. But we have to be ready to take them in their back yard and not let them intimidate us,” said ­Mosimane.

He said he would rely on his experienced players, who are used to unfavourable conditions on the African continent and in European countries, to guide and shield the youngsters.

Mosimane said the likes of Macbeth Sibaya and captain Aaron Mokoena would have to use their international experience to help other players.

“If Macbeth can survive in Russia and Mokoena can go to Emirates Stadium and still not be intimidated, then they should be able to cope under any ­conditions.”

Mosimane said it was time his players showed their mental strength and resistance.

“We have been having it easy at home and we must show we can still play in any conditions.

“It won’t be a pretty game, but we will have to adjust to the pitch condition and use it to our advantage.”

Mosimane is well aware that Bafana’s previous campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier was dented in the same country when Bafana went down 1-0 and never recovered, eventually failing to qualify for Angola.

“Having beaten us in 2008 they will fancy their chances. They are playing at home, so they will be full of confidence, especially after their draw against Egypt earlier this month (The Lone Stars held The Pharaohs to a 1-1 draw away). We need to be cautious in our approach, be tight at the back but at the same time not afraid to attack.”

Bafana have registered three successive victories since the ­final game of the World Cup and Mosimane said they wanted to keep up ­the momentum.

He identified Sierra Leone’s dangermen as Mohamed Bangura and Kei Kamara.

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