Bafana Bafana

Mashaba 'thrives' on criticism

2015-11-16 20:30
Shakes Mashaba (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba insists he thrives on criticism after silencing some of his doubters with victory in their second-round World Cup qualifier against Angola on Friday.

South Africa touched down in Durban late on Saturday night, after nearly 16 hours of travelling from the venue of their first-leg match in Benguela, where they claimed a vital 3-1 advantage ahead of the return meeting at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday, November 17.

It was also an important result in terms of the future of Mashaba, who was under pressure after a recent defeat to the same opponents in a CHAN qualifier and also a poor start to their Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifying campaign.

"I want them (the monkeys) to sit on my back," was Mashaba's response when asked if the Friday win will alleviate some of the pressure. "I don’t want them to jump off, please.

"Because the weight they are putting on keeps me on toes. Because I'm also saying that I've got to feed these monkeys. And how do you make them think, you deliver - that's all."

Meanwhile, the national coach insisted Bafana Bafana were not yet safe in terms of progressing to the final round of qualification for Russia 2018.

"I was praying that we scored at least four goals away from home," Mashaba added. "That would have made the tie much safer. No, we're under pressure at 3-1.

"Because psychologically if they score a goal and it becomes 3-2, you start worrying. If it was four or five it would have been a lot better.

"We can only hope our boys they don’t lose their heads."

Rivaldo Coetzee (wrist) and Anele Ngcongca (ankle) are both expected to take their places in the starting XI on Tuesday, despite slight niggles.

South Africa are aiming to join 19 other countries in the final round of qualifying.

The 20 teams to be divided into groups of four, with the five pool winners all qualifying for the World Cup in three years' time.

Kick-off is at 19:00.


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