turn off the heat

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has pleaded with South Africans not to exert pressure on the team during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has pleaded with South Africans not to exert pressure on the team during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Parreira said he was hoping to lift the trophy at Soccer City on July 11.

The Brazilian said he was not bothered by the fact he has not won any of his previous eight World Cup games with non-Brazilian teams. He guided Kuwait in 1982, United Arab Emirates in 1990 and Saudi Arabia in 1998.

"We hope South Africa will be in the final, but let us not put unnecessary pressure on the boys. As a coach, I want to win all the games," said Parreira. "I want to lift the trophy on July 11. But to be there we have to beat the best. We proved in the Fifa Confederations Cup that with the country behind us, this team can grow."

Meanwhile, there were no major surprises when Parreira announced his provisional squad for the World Cup in Sandton on Friday. The Brazilian mentor included his tried and tested overseas-based players like Steven Pienaar, Aaron Mokoena and Benni McCarthy.

He has dropped the likes of Siyanda Xulu, Katlego Mashego, Thabo Nthethe, Gert Schalkwyk and Lebohang Mokoena.

"The door is not closed for any impressive players for the World Cup," said Parreira.

l Safa has lined up four international warm-up matches. Chief executive Leslie Sedibe said the matches would take place on May 16, 24 and June 5.

"We are still awaiting confirmation for the match on May 16. On May 24 we will play against Bulgaria. We will play against Columbia on May 27 and Denmark on June 5," Sedibe said.

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