Parreira hails Brazil camp
Sao Paulo - Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira believes the first two weeks of the training camp in Brazil was a success. Bafana are in the South American country on a month-long preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Parreira spoke to the South African media in a wide-ranging interview.
So far Bafana Bafana have played six matches, winning four and drawing two.
“This is a very important camp in that I am able to get a clearer view of all the players who are here. I am not looking at their play only, also the off-the-field behaviour.
We haven’t had any problems with any of the players, so the discipline is there.
I am happy in that when we got here we had no shape, but that is now excellent, but obviously we still need to improve on it.
To prove to you, in the most difficult match so far, against Cruzeiro, our goalkeeper (Itumeleng Khune) was not busy at all, and he did not need to make miraculous saves to keep us out of trouble, but the other keeper was very busy.
We needed to concentrate on organizing our shape – it doesn’t win games but it is important,” said Parreira.
Even though everything has been going according to plan with a punishing schedule that involves a lot of travelling, Bafana Bafana have managed to settle well, especially off the field.
On the field there are still some challenges.
“Now that we have our shape, we need to work on keeping the ball. It is improving but it takes times to get used to the system. In any case we should not be ready now, but by the end of May, we don’t want to peak too early.
Despite scoring 13 goals and not conceding, finding the back of the net remains a big problem - but it’s a challenge of the country as a whole because this is happening at the league level so it becomes a struggle as well in the national team,” said the coach.
Without singling out anyone, Parreira has been impressed by the youngsters in the team. He is still trying to decide whether to take them with to the World Cup or not.
He adds that he might bring one or two just for experience saying, “youngsters can help you win one match, but experienced players will come in handy and will be able to sustain the team when the pressure is on.”
After this camp, Bafana Bafana will take a break for a few days before flying out to Germany where Parreira says it will be a continuation of the Brazil camp with not much difference.
The head coach also spoke about a message from Spain-based Bafana Bafana defender Nasief Morris.
Morris was in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup training squad but missed the cut in the final team.
“Yes he sent me a SMS. It was very respectful of him and I will answer him when the time is right. I am also told that former Bafana captain Mbulelo Mabizela has also sent a letter of apology to the Association, this shows that people can now see that the national team is important,” said Parreira.
Parreira informed the media that there are several international friendly matches being negotiated as part of Bafana Bafana preparations for the World Cup.
The announcement of the matches will be made by SAFA once confirmation has been received.