Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki blamed his team’s lacklustre performances in recently friendly international matches against neighbours Namibia and Zambia on inferior fitness and lack of preparation.
South African football-loving fans are started to question whether Ntseki is the right man to lead Bafana with many baffled by the coach’s team selection and tactics following the 1-1 draw with Namibia last Thursday and Sunday’s discouraging 2-1 defeat at the hands of Zambia.
Both encounters were played in Rustenburg at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium ahead of next month’s back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe.
“We played like a team with no confidence, which is a big concern for us. We must give credit to the players, especially when it comes to the technical aspects of the game,” admits Ntseki, who is well aware that fans’ patience is wearing thin.
“We only had two training sessions before we played Namibia, so if you look at the time we had in preparing the team and with what is happening in the country with regards to lockdown and coronavirus health protocols, tactically we got it right.
“But I don’t want to complain much on the physical side of it but it is a fact, we are not at the level where we can compete at international level from the physical side of it and that is why we have brought in people to help us to analyse the data of players to analyse the scores we get from the GPS but I think they have applied themselves very well.
Ntseki, who was appointed Stuart Baxter’s replacement in August last year insists that Bafana will be in a fit state and prepared to take on Sao Tome in November.
“We will be ready‚ we will be ready because locally the PSL is starting next weekend‚ and I think the coaches and the physical trainers will prepare the players,” he said.
“We [Bafana] can only benefit from that preparation on the physical side of it. When it comes to the tactics‚ they [the players] responded very well [in the two friendlies] and they were good.
“It means going to Sao Tome and Principe [in the qualifiers] they will be ready physically because what we saw [on Sunday against Zambia] is that tactically we are at a level we want to be.
“But we can’t have tactical endurance because of the physical level that we are at. I think come Sao Tome and Principe we will be ready to compete‚ and compete to win,” concluded under-fire Ntseki.
RELATED STORY: FT: SA 1-2 Zambia
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi