Gould delighted with return
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana defender Morgan Gould has revealed his delight at making his return to the national set-up after suffering World Cup heartache.
The SuperSport United defender, who was favourite to start alongside Aaron Mokoena in the centre of Bafana Bafana's defence at the global showpiece, was devastated to miss out after he sustained an ankle injury.
However, Gould was recalled to the squad by new coach Pitso Mosimane for Bafana's match against Ghana and he produced an impressive display as South Africa beat the World Cup quarter-finalists 1-0 on Wednesday.
"It was pretty exciting just being called up for the new coach," he told Football365.co.za.
"It's always an honour for me to don the jersey of the national team and each and every player should feel that way and I know they do.
"For me it was a big honour to come back from injury and a blessing coming back and doing the job for the nation."
The 27-year-old partnered Mokoena for the first-half and Siyabonga Sangweni, who replaced the Bafana captain, in the second period, with both partnerships keeping a dangerous Black Stars attack at bay.
"I think the secret to containing Ghana was just doing what I do every day and stick to the basics, keep it simple and just focus on my game instead of anything else," he said.
"My job is to defend and if I win my battle with my fellow striker, that is one up for us, so I think we did it pretty well, obviously there are some things that we need to correct in defence, but I am just happy that I won the individual battle."
The competition for places in the heart of South Africa's defence seems to be heating up with Gould, Mokoena, Sangweni, Bongani Khumalo and Bevan Fransman all vying for a starting-spot.
But Gould believes the competition is healthy and that it will keep all the players on their toes.
"It's very healthy competition, now you can see that no one is guarenteed a place in the national team and the coach has eluded that if you do the job on the pitch for your respective teams, he'll definitely select you," he said.
"So I think it is healthy competition for the national team to have something like that, it just makes us as players strong and want to work more you know."
South Africa now face a tough qualifying campaign for the 2012 African Nations Cup as they aim to overcome Egypt, Niger and Sierre Leone, but Gould is confident they can do the job.
"With the spirit and the mood that everybody is in and the work that we are starting to put in as a national team, I think it's not going to be impossible and I know that we are going to give a good account of ourselves and I think we should qualify for it," Gould added.
"I know we are playing the African Champions, but it is one of those things that you have to pit yourself against the best to produce the best, so it is definitely good competition for us to go to the African Nations Cup."