Former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has called for South Africans to get behind coach Molefi Ntseki and the national team, saying Ntseki deserves a chance to flourish without criticism.
Bafana will face Sudan at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon, looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss away against Ghana in their opening Group C Afcon 2021 qualifier.
After losing their first game in qualifying, it’s vital that Bafana win their home games. The former Bafana coach has called on the country to support the team rather than add extra pressure with unnecessary criticism.
‘I think they are under a lot of pressure but, look, we have the quality to do well in the qualifiers and I expected us to at least get a point in Ghana,’ Igesund told Goal.
‘I know it’s not easy to play against Ghana away from home. Playing an official match is different from playing a friendly. I remember I only lost two official matches as Bafana coach and that’s how important it is to plan and ensure you do well in such games.
‘I am sure as a coach he will now plan to get maximum points because we cannot complain about the loss to Ghana.
‘There’s no doubt that the team is under pressure because they must get a win now. Obviously it’s not a big issue because the coach is still new, he’s trying to find his best team and I can tell you he is experienced to handle these matters – that’s a fact. He’s been with Safa structures for a long time and he’s a decent man and a great person, he will learn and grow in the position and I’m sure he would have loved to get something in Ghana.
‘We’ve got to always try and push to win our home games, it’s nice to win at home and get points away from home. We are on the back foot now,’ added the former Bafana boss.
‘This is a very difficult match against Sudan on Sunday but playing at home gives us the edge. I am sure the coach is now watching videos, analysing the opponent to ensure his team is fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the Sudanese side.
‘I’m sure he will work hard in that aspect to ensure his players are capable of capitalising on these weaknesses; he must ensure his team is well prepared just like when he faces Nigeria or Ghana.
‘I’d like to add a few things, though. I know he will be under heavy criticism as a coach but we need to get rid of such a mindset. The team, the coach and the players need our support and we have to do just that. He deserves a chance and we just celebrated the success of the rugby team.
‘That shows we are a winning nation and we just need to believe in our coaches and players. We should not criticise him.’
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