No 'friendly' match for Bafana
Lebohang Mokoena (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will use their international friendly clash against Gabon in an effort to turn things around for the national side, midfielder Lebohang Mokoena said on Wednesday.
South Africa face Gabon in Nelspruit on Friday, desperate for a win after failing to secure a single victory in their last eight official matches.
"There have been ups and downs for the whole team, and now we are trying to get the confidence back to win matches," Mokoena said.
"It's very difficult at the moment but we have to pull together, not only as a team but also as a nation, and positive results will come soon."
The midfielder did not feature in the last two Bafana matches - World Cup qualifying stalemates against Ethiopia and Botswana - but remained confident of turning out against Gabon, with a number of first-choice players having been sent home.
"Being here in the national team is an honour and, should I get an opportunity to play, I will do my best for the country," Mokoena said.
"It is not about Lebohang or individuals that want glory, but we need a collective that will go out there and be ready to deliver good results.
"At the moment there's a lot of negativity out there about the team, but I believe good results will come and we will be able to turn things around."
Mokoena added that the hosts would not treat the match as a friendly but would show their intent and look for a much-needed victory.
"We need to use it to get back to our winning ways," he said.
Meanwhile, forward May Mahlangu was also optimistic about South Africa's chances.
"Every country is improving, and that means we also have to improve if we are to win," Mahlangu said.
"There are no easy teams any more but we have to go out there and fight for a win against Gabon.
"That they are ranked above us should not be an issue. What matters is how we perform on the day.
"Gabon is a very strong side and it' s going to be difficult, but we must just go out there with a positive mind and the win will come."