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'Bafana will surprise everyone'

2010-03-03 12:07
Lucas Radebe (File)
Johannesburg - Former Bafana Bafana captains Lucas Radebe and Neil Tovey both believe that South Africa can progress beyond the first round of the World Cup - but only with the country's support.

A Kaizer Chiefs and Leeds United legend, Radebe feels that South Africa have as much chance as any team at the tournament and their sense of responsibility to the country will see them through.

He told iafrica.com: "Look, we have a good bunch of players and with our support I believe that these boys can surprise everyone in the World Cup.

"We also have a good coach in Carlos Alberto Parreira whom I rate very highly so Bafana has equally good chances of progressing like any other country. As a host country, it is important that we do reach the knockout stages and the boys know this hence I say they will make us proud in the World Cup."

Tovey knows more than most just how important the South African public will be to Bafana's chances at the World Cup, after leading the country to African Cup of Nations glory in 1996.

He said: "When we won the 1996 Afcon our fans were are 12th men and if they can once again unite behind Bafana, I have no doubts that the boys will do well. We just need to trust the team and make the boys feel appreciated."

The AmaZulu boss also gave his thoughts on how Group A would pan out - making it clear that South Africa will need to beat Mexico and Uruguay to progress.

"Look, the group is probably going to be won by France and that would leave Bafana and Mexico fighting out for the second spot", he said.

"Therefore if we beat Mexico and the Mexicans go on to lose to France in their second match and we beat Uruguay, the match between us and France will only be a decider for whichever team would finish first."

As a final word of advice, Tovey concluded that belief was key if Bafana are to make the most of the opportunity as hosts of the 2010 World Cup.

"Those who are selected must just go in and enjoy themselves and play with confidence, that's all." 
Read more on: lucas radebe neil tovey

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