Mokoena ready for war
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will have to dig deep for what promises to be war when they face Sierra Leone in their 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier in Freetown, skipper Aaron Mokoena warned on Monday.
Kick-off is at 18: 30 South African time on Sunday.
"I missed the last match in Freetown where we lost 1-0 due to injury, but there is no way I will miss this one," Mokoena said.
He reported to camp on Sunday with a slight groin strain suffered helping his English Championship side to a 2-2 draw against over Middlesbrough on Saturday.
"I am going to play. That is if I am selected by the coach. But there is no way I am missing this trip. This is one game I am really looking forward to," said Mokoena, who is nicknamed Mbazo for his fierce tackling and no nonsense approach to all his matches.
Mokoena said it would be a different Bafana that travelled to Freetown on Friday from the side that lost 1-0 in 2008 under Brazilian coach Joel Santana.
Santana struggled at international level and failed to motivate his players.
"We travel with a new spirit, new defence and attack from that disappointing 1-0 loss in 2008. We are determined to give a much better account and get a result this time," said Mokoena.
He was in a high spirits after helping Portsmouth move off the bottom of the championship with a number of big wins after a slow start to the season. Portsmouth were relegated at the end of last season.
"We have picked up nicely in the league after a poor start to the league campaign and that has helped lift me. So I come to Bafana raring to go and high on confidence."
New Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane's support of his players was a big plus in motivating the side and helping the players prepare for the clash.
"Pitso is a players' coach. Now we have to go out and win the game to show our appreciation for what he has done in his short spell as coach.
"All away games are tough, but we will give a good account of ourselves."
Mosimane has been like a breath of fresh air since he took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira after the World Cup finals and is unbeaten in the three matches played since he took charge.