Bafana stars praise Pitso
Johannesburg - Itumeleng Khune and Siphiwe Tshabalala have given their strong backing to the methods Pitso Mosimane has deployed as Bafana coach.
South Africa have been moving up the FIFA rankings under Mosimane's tutelage, with the nation now sitting 38th in the world, while in Africa the team is up to fifth with Ghana, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Nigeria still ahead of them.
Results breed confidence, and Bafana players have been talking openly about the buoyant mood in the camp following their 0-0 draw with Egypt which has put them on the brink of qualification for the 2012 African Nations Cup.
Khune believes Mosimane's influence has been felt by the team for longer than his official tenure since he was already involved on the ground during his time as assistant boss.
"The coach has been with the side for a long time," Khune told Kick-Off.
"Even during the time of (Carlos Alberto) Parreira he played a key role because coach Parreira used to rely on him.
"The coach is a driving force. What is important is that he has an understanding of South African football culture and this is why we are functioning well as a unit.
"It is very important for the coach to be in sync with the way things are done in that country and this is one of our coaches strong points."
Tshabalala echoed his Kaizer Chiefs team-mate's sentiments and also revealed his belief that the appointment of a local manager was the best decision SAFA could have made.
"The coach has a thorough understanding of South African football and he knows how we behave and can relate to us," 'Shabba' added.
"The nation should support him. He has the backing of the players."