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Bafana focus on positives

By unknown | Sep 10, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

AARON Mokoena insisted South Africa's players were still positive despite their run of six defeats.

AARON Mokoena insisted South Africa's players were still positive despite their run of six defeats.

The 2-0 defeat to Ireland on Tuesday night means they have not won since beating New Zealand in the Confederations Cup in June. But the Bafana skipper says there are plenty of positives to be found in recent performances.

"It does not affect the players at all," he said. "It's disappointing not to win when we play well and control the game but for us we're building toward winning.

"I'm positive from the build-up we've had that we'll get there.

"There are a lot of positives for the team from these two games in Ireland and Germany, especially as we had some players who are only on a couple of (international) caps and it's good for the manager to assess these players.

"We had a lot of possession, I think it was 68percent. We made it difficult for Ireland, which, when playing them at home, is never easy."

Ireland fielded an experimental team that was without eight players from their preferred starting line-up.

But Mokoena was keen to point out that though they may not be regular starters, most of Ireland's replacements are playing in the upper levels of British football.

"With the players they have who are playing in the Premier League, I don't think it was a weak side at all," he said.

"In fact, we want to have a team that we can make eight changes to, (and win) like Ireland."

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni said he was vindicated by the performances of some of his fringe players.

"We had some new players who had only played one game for us and I am happy that they confirmed my opinions about them. Having seen Liam Lawrence at his club, I was happy to see his performance. That gives me hope to have a bigger squad.

"I knew South Africa would have a lot of possession. I saw many of their games before: they are fast, technical and have good players, so I knew that. It was important for us to be compact." - Sapa-AFP


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