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Date: 06 Jun 2012
Title: Bafana caretaker coach appeals for national support
By Nthambeleni Gabara
Pretoria - Bafana Bafana caretaker coach Steve Komphela is appealing to the nation to fully support Bafana Bafana ahead of their crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifier against Botswana.
Bafana will face the tricky Botswana Zebras at the University of Botswana stadium in Gaborone on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm.
"We request support for the players as this is all our team. We quickly need to forget the past errors; we need to release the burden of the past so we can travel lighter to the future. Let's try to travel faster forward there is not time to waste.
"... We need to be more resilient and try to see the tough times through because it's not only tough for the players, but even for us the technical team and the nation. We need to go through that period and it is only normal to try to overcome it," said Komphela.
Komphela said as the technical team, the only way they would get stronger was through the nation's support.
"We need to stay current, be realistic and understand that we have a huge task and responsibility to qualify the country for 2014 World Cup in Brazil."
However, Komphela said the biggest challenge was to get everybody in the right frame of mind.
"We have to confess -- we have professional people who understand that even though some things change, they still need to perform.
"We are happy and pleased to say we will give the best of preparations and get the best of results in pursuit of qualification for Brazil," said Komphela, who takes over temporarily after former coach Pitso Mosimane was fired by the South African Football Association on Monday.
The caretaker coach also showered Mosimane with praises. "Pitso did a lot of good work and we appreciate what we have here."
Bafana skipper Steven Pienaar was also positive after the team got off to a slow start in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers when they played 1-1 draw against Ethiopia last Saturday at Royal Bafokeng stadium.
"The players are feeling down, and it's normal after losing your coach but we are all professionals and it happens in football. We are all looking forward to the next few games and we have to lift ourselves up again mentally and physically - more so because the results in the last game were not good enough.
"As a team, we have to support the new coach one hundred percent and respect him as a person. He has been with Bafana for a few good years," he said.
Pienaar said the players knew the importance of their upcoming qualifier match against Botswana on Saturday.
"We let our families, the supporters and the whole country down so it's time for us to start winning games and make everyone happy again. There's a lot of pride to play for because you don't want to lose to your neighbours. Also, there's still a lot to play for," added the midfielder. - BuaNews