Shakes Mashaba travelling to Polokwane to support Bafana

Former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba.
Former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba.
Image: BackpagePix

Former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba is traveling to Polokwane to support his erstwhile charges when they host Senegal in a must-win 2018 World Cup qualifier at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday night.

A defeat or even a draw would have disastrous consequences for Bafana and Mashaba said he would be in the stands to encourage his former players.

“I will be driving to Polokwane to offer my support to coach Stuart Baxter‚ the technical team and the players for this important match‚" he said.

"I don’t want to say that we can’t win the match but it is not going to be easy.

"We are playing at home with massive support behind us and we must use that to our advantage to intimidate them.

“We must throw everything at them to make sure that they are uncomfortable because only a win will do for us in this match.

"I watched Senegal against Cape Verde and they looked strong and we must show the fighting spirit we showed against Burkina Faso where the players looked motivated and hungry for three points.”

Mashaba started Bafana’s World Cup qualifying programme but was suspended and later fired by the South African Football Association for gross misconduct‚ insubordination and violating his former employer's communications policy after the tainted first match against Senegal last November.

Before he was fired‚ Mashaba drew with Burkina Faso away from home and beat Senegal 2-1 at home but that win was annulled by Fifa after referee Joseph Lamptey was found guilty of match manipulation.

Mashaba said if Bafana are to prevail against the Lions of Teranga on Friday‚ they must be able to handle the huge burden of expectation from the South African public.

“I am sure the coaches will address the issue of the mood in the camp because it is important for the players to be able to handle the pressure‚" Mashaba said.

"Training sessions must be in such a way that players are allowed to express themselves because that is one of the ways that their spirits can be lifted.

"Some people have been negative towards the team after the losses to Cape Verde‚ there were some disruptions this week in camp with players withdrawals for a variety of reasons and that the potential to affect the team.”

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