Davids shrugs off criticism
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana midfielder Lance Davids has shrugged off the controversy surrounding his call up to head coach Joel Santana's provisional squad of 30 players preparing for next month's Confederations Cup.
Santana raised eyebrows when he selected Davids after the SuperSport United midfielder failed to command a regular place since he joined the PSL champions in the January transfer window.
Davids decided to play in the PSL when his contract with Swedish side Djurgardens ended in January.
But the 24-year-old midfielder admitted he found the going in the PSL a lot more different than expected.
Davids, the former SA under-23 and SA under-20 captain had never played in the PSL before joining United. He started his career in Germany with 1860 Munich.
Said Davids: "I accept there was a lot of criticism after I was selected for this squad but I think there were a lot of reasons for me not playing regularly for United. To be fair, I have played regularly for Bafana (under Santana)."
He said of his first six months in the PSL: "The PSL is a lot different to Europe. The biggest difference is in consistency and pace of the game. I took time to adjust.
"For example, when we played against Orlando Pirates, the pace was up and down, slow and fast. Then we played against Bloemfontein Celtic and that was a slow-paced game which confused me a lot. Players in the PSL like to hold on to the ball while in Europe passing is more direct and far quicker."
However, Davids stressed he was not criticising the standard of the PSL but show-boating on the ball is virtually non-existent in European leagues as players do not get time to show off when in possession.
"The fact I got a red card in my second match and then got injured did not help matters. That forced me out of the starting line-up. But I fully agree with United coach Gavin Hunt, who does not believe in changing a winning team, and that meant I had to sit on the bench which I accepted.
"Gavin was pushing for the league title which we won. I was more than happy to be part of his squad. I managed to play in the final league match against Santos, after recovering from injury, and I am raring to do my best for Bafana in the Confederations Cup."
Davids hopes to be part of the final 23 players Santana names in early June to play at the Confederations Cup.
"I badly want to play at the Confederations Cup to help my country get to at least the semi-finals and then hope to get signed by a European club after the tournament. I am now a free agent and will decide on my future after the cup."
Davids is also cautious about Bafana's first two cup opponents, Iraq and New Zealand. Bafana play Iraq in the opening Group A match at Ellis Park on June 14 and play the All Whites on June 17 and finish their group fixtures against Spain in Bloemfontein on June 20.
"We will have the crowd behind us and, despite being in the dark about Iraq and New Zealand, it would be fatal to underestimate any side at this level."