Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana's Morgan Gould admitted the national team had a mountain to climb, starting with their international friendly against Gabon in Nelspruit on Friday.
"It is going to be an uphill battle, one of those games where we are going to have to fight to get on top of the hill," said the tigerish defender.
With captain Steven Pienaar rested, Gould will be vice-captain to stand-in skipper Siphiwe Tshabalala on the weekend.
Bafana have gone eight official games without a win, including last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Botswana, in Gaborone, in their Group A 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup qualifier, under interim coach Steve Komphela. The result meant Bafana have collected two from a possible six points in their opening two games of the campaign.
South Africa now have four matches next year to get back on track for Brazil in two years' time.
"We try very hard to win matches, and we are not happy the results are not coming," said Gould.
"We have not had any luck. Sometimes luck plays an important role.
"We have not been taking the chances that have been coming our way."
Bafana face a potentially tricky encounter at Mbombela Stadium against the Gabonese, ranked 49th in the world - 19 places higher than the South Africans.
The visitors were quarter-finalists at this year's Africa Cup of Nations which they were co-hosted, while Bafana failed to qualify.
Bafana will also come up against Gabon's coach, Paulo Duarte, who was coaching Burkina Faso last August, in the last victory secured by South Africa.
The Frenchman was scathing about SA Football Association's "poor hospitality" when his former team went down 3-0 at Ellis Park.
Gabon's compact style of play will frustrate the hosts, who desperately need a convincing victory.
"Gabon have good players, but I don't think the rankings will count on the day," said Gould.
Recently signed with Kaizer Chiefs, Gould scored the goal against the Zebras last weekend as Bafana took an early lead.
"It felt very good (to score) and I have always set high standards and targets for myself," he said.
"So when I scored that goal, especially away and with the team not doing well, I was ecstatic."