Bafana Bafana

Igesund: Let's get behind Bafana

2014-10-16 10:42
Gordon Igesund (Supplied)
Gordon Igesund (Supplied)

Pretoria - While South Africans were celebrating a string of improved performances by Bafana Bafana, former coach Gordon Igesund implored his compatriots to continue supporting the team regardless of their results.

Bafana Bafana player ratings vs Congo

As it happened: Bafana v Congo

"Being the national team coach is very tough, that's why we need to give coach Shakes Mashaba and the team all our support -- at all times," Igesund said.

"I urge all of us to do so. The team is doing well at the moment and they need to know that the country is behind them."

Bafana Bafana played to a goalless draw against Congo in Polokwane on Wednesday after pulling off a 2-0 away victory to the same team last weekend in Point-Noire.

It was their second victory in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Group A matches, after beating Sudan 3-0 away and drawing 0-0 against Nigeria in Cape Town.

Igesund's popularity wavered during his tenure as the Bafana coach, during which time the team won 14 games, lost nine and drew nine.

The four-time Premiership winner said he was not ashamed of his record as national team coach.

"We only lost one official match. I had to qualify the team for the World Cup and we only had four matches to do it in -- we won three of those games.

"When I went to school that was 75 percent and that was a pass."

At the time, Igesund faced numerous challenges which made his job difficult, most notably the availability of players, he said.

"Sometimes you never get the players that you want because they are not released by their clubs.

"At times you only get them three days before the game so you can't do much with them."

The SuperSport United coach said he was pleased to see some continuity of his work in the current squad.

"If you look at the team Shakes has selected, we had a pool of 40 players and most of those players are still there.

"He has put some youngsters into the team because he is trying to give them experience. But at the end of the day it's the team that we had. We also had a young team."

Igesund said he was in a much happier space having made the move back to club football.

"I am good right now where I am because what I missed was that daily interaction with the players at the national team."

He said there was no bad blood between him and the SA Football Association (Safa), who decided earlier this year not to renew his contract when it expired in August.

"We served our time. They didn't decide to extend the contract and that was fine. Shakes must take the team further ahead and there are no hard feelings."

South Africa lead Congo by one point in Group A with two matches each still to play. The top two teams in each group automatically qualify for next year's Afcon tournament in Morroco.


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