Komphela mum on strategy
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana interim coach Steve Komphela has been tight-lipped on what he has in store for Botswana ahead of their Group A 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer qualifier in Gaborone on Saturday afternoon.
"How do I know you are not working for Botswana? I'm not going to help Botswana," he said. "We will have a plan. What I will want from the players is to deliver what we need."
The match at the already sold-out University Stadium (capacity 7000) comes after Pitso Mosimane's dramatic exit from the coaching job at the start of the week.
Komphela's acceleration to the top job might be the fuel the team needs to fire them to an important result, with three points at stake.
Their next meeting in the campaign is against Central African Republic - who beat Botswana over the weekend - at home next March.
Following the dreadful 1-1 draw with Ethiopia in the group opener in Rustenburg at the weekend, Bafana hope to turn over a new leaf with a positive result against their neighbours.
They embarked on a two-hour bus trip across the border from their Royal Marang Hotel camping base in Phokeng on Thursday.
The excitement that has accompanied Botswana in the past year, on their way to their first Africa Cup of Nations tournament, seems to have passed.
Bafana will line up against a Zebras outfit that will be without many of their well-known stars, who have retired following payment squabbles with their federation over the last year.
But the Botswana team will be motivated against their bigger brothers, who seek a nation-boosting win after seven flat games on the trot.
Komphela said he wanted to see his charges "release their talent" and feel unhindered this weekend.
Most importantly, Bafana's strike force needed to back their expected dominant play with goals against Botswana.
The side's five strikers in camp have a combined tally of 60 goals in the Premiership in the past season and are the country's best assembled in a while.
The return of the crafty Ajax Amsterdam midfielder-forward Thulani Serero to the team, from a family bereavement, will also aid the side.
Steven Pienaar, the team's talisman, will be the creative linchpin, while veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe will be out to prove that his recall to the international set up was not a fluke.
"We have played some of the best football... [it's] just that we don't take our chances," said Komphela.
"We will release our energies and be more positive, get the attitude right and try to win the match.
"There is very little you can do in terms of being better than you were yesterday, but I am optimistic we will get a result."
Meanwhile, Bafana's international friendly against Gabon next Friday evening will be played at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.