Cape Town - South
Africa coach Shakes Mashaba admits Bernard Parker was well below his best
against Zambia, but is confident the Kaizer Chiefs striker will improve with
regular game time.
Read: Shakes prioritises AFCON triumph
Parker made his first appearance for Bafana Bafana since
January in the 1-0 friendly win over the Copper Bullets at Orlando Stadium on
Sunday, but was unable to make a telling contribution as he continues to
rediscover his form following a lengthy spell out injured.
Mashaba, though, is not overly concerned by the forward's
showing, and believes he will be back to his best before the start of the 2015
Africa Cup of Nations on January 17.
"He (Parker) didn't offer much but played his normal
game. We saw that he looked unsure and uncertain. It was not the Bernard we
know," said Mashaba.
"There are chances he got and normally when he is on
form he buries them. We didn't worry because we know this was his first game
after a long time not being in the team but he is going to help us with
Mashaba went on to admit that his overall attacking options
have also been lacking, but again the tactician remained confident that his
forwards will soon find their stride.
"In the striking force problems did emerge," he
"We created chances, we managed to go behind the
defence but couldn't finish. It's an area of concern in the striking force.
"However, this game should not be a yardstick because
the boy's level of fitness is questionable. Some of them last played before
Christmas. Normally when players go a week without playing or training, their
mood switches off and for them to restart it becomes a problem.
"It's not about departments but the whole teams needs a
wake-up call, we are not all sharp."