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Wed Apr 16 09:26:09 SAST 2014

I'm not a magician, says Komphela

Michael Sherman, Sapa | 14 June, 2012 17:070 Comments
Bafana Bafana training and press conference
Steve Komphela shouts out instructions during a Bafana Bafana training session at Royal Marang Sports Complex on June 13, 2012 in Rustenburg, South Africa
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana interim coach Steve Komphela has said the team must focus on scoring goals and ensure a positive result in their international friendly against Gabon at Mbombela Stadium on Friday evening.

“The pairing tomorrow is such that we should be able to get around the box and finish it off,” said Komphela on Thursday.

“We are no magicians but we’re trying to solve the scoring problem.

“Let’s hope tomorrow it works well and we score.” 

The Free State Stars mentor hinted that it was the players who needed to find the ability to finish their moves and turn around their goal-scoring woes.

“Scoring is an individual ability — a scorer is born with the ability to hit the back of the net,” Komphela said.

“Then coaches get hired to try and manipulate things that can present the best opportunities for players to score from.”  

The South Africans are up against a Gabonese side ranked 49th in the world — 19 spots ahead of Bafana.

“Whether they’re on top of us [in the rankings] or below us, we just have to fight to win,” emphasised Komphela.

“They’ve been doing very well and their junior team has also been doing very well.

“They are preparing their team which is beautiful.”  

Despite the match being a friendly, Komphela highlighted the importance of the encounter.

“The seriousness is there and I’m sure, when they come into South Africa tomorrow night, it’s not just going to be an international friendly match,” he said.

“They would really want to test their systems.

“Objectives are clear, they are moving forward and we are also trying to move out of this dip.” 

Bafana have been in camp for a number of weeks now and will also be battling fatigue.

“We prepared okay with the number of players we have,” said Komphela.

“We managed to see what we wanted to see, and we know who we want to see do duty, starting the match tomorrow night.”  

The team’s final training session is at the match venue on Thursday evening.

“We will be doing our final preparation this evening but, basically, the team has been formulated.

“We definitely want to have a look at those we haven’t seen and it’s an opportunity for them to showcase their talent.” 

Komphela thought he may give a number of fringe players in the squad a taste of international football.

“We’re optimistic they’ll do well. The first match of any player is the easiest,” he said.

“When things go wrong, the coach is to blame, and when all goes well the player becomes a hero, so no pressure on them.

“If things don’t work, it means we would have taken decisions that were not informed, but if all goes well then South Africa will have benefited.”

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