Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has called on
his team-mates to be professional in the midst of a chaotic build-up to their
matches against Senegal.
South Africa must beat the Teranga Lions home and away on November
10 and 14 respectively to book their spot at the World Cup next year.
But their preparations have been dealt several blows, the
biggest arguably being the injury to goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune which sees his
participation in doubt.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Hlompho Kekana is also doubtful
after the recent death of a close family member, while another midfielder,
Thulani Serero, refused to join up with the team after his demands for a
guaranteed starting role fell on deaf ears.
In addition, Andile Jali and Bongani Zungu are both
But Tshabalala, who is set to make his first appearance in
national team colours for four years, has issued a rallying cry to the troops.
"There are always challenges," the Amakhosi legend
was quoted saying by The Star. "We are professionals and we need to deal
"Some players are not 100 percent and others are not
here yet. But it is something we have to understand and be professional about.
There's still a job that needs to be done on Friday."
On a personal note, Tshabalala is looking forward to making
a positive impact in whatever role he may be asked to play against Senegal.
"I haven't yet spoken to the coach about my role,"
he said. "But I know the importance of the game.
"It's not just important to Bafana, but the rest of the
country. We need to make sure we do well at home first and then a few days
later we do well in Dakar and qualify for the World Cup.
"For me, it is business as usual. I will do my best
both on and off the field to help the team. I will also advise and lead through
performance. I will help the best way I can."