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02 Sep 2009 08:39
A win over three times world champions Germany would be the best psychological boost Bafana Bafana could wish for in their preparations for the 2010 World Cup finals.
So said Bafana right back Siboniso Gaxa, who is set to get the job of keeping the likes of either German striker Lucas Podolski or Miroslav Klose, quiet when the teams clash in a friendly international in Leverkusen on Saturday night. Kick-off is at 8.45pm.
The highly regarded Mamelodi Sundowns defender admitted it was not going to be an easy game to win, but stressed Bafana were up for the challenge.
Said Gaxa: “We know our record against European opposition in Europe is not great but we are not going to let that worry us.
“This time it is different in that we are using the friendly games against Germany and Ireland next week to prepare us for the World Cup and that is why we have to fight and play this match as hard as we can.
“We would score our biggest win ever if we could beat the highly regarded Germans in their own back yard and to do that, we are going to have to stay focused and work hard.”
But Gaxa stressed that while the ultimate goal was to make sure Bafana were a competitive unit at the World Cup on home soil next June, the two friendly internationals ahead were of crucial importance in the build up.
Gaxa called for patience from the fans while head coach Joel Santana gave new players and those on the fringe of national selection, a chance to stake their claim to play next June.
“When we played with a settled side at the Confederations Cup it worked and we did well finishing fourth.
“However, I and the other players in the squad know how important it is to give other players a chance and the coach will have to be given time in order to give those players a run, which means we might lose some of our friendly matches.”
Santana has stated his aim during the next months will be to give as many players a fair crack at impressing him and his
Gaxa, the first choice right-back, is more than happy to take newcomer Anele Ngongca, under his wing on this trip to Europe.
Ngongca came out of nowhere and it was a complete surprise when the Belgium-based defender, who plays for Genk, was named by Santana in his squad for the matches against Germany and Ireland.
“I will be happy to look after Ngongca and act as a mentor to him and help him settle in.”—Sapa
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