Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has refused to buy into talk that failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will not affect his future, and has called on the team to get their qualification campaign up-and-running with nothing less than a win.
“I hear a lot of people saying that the coach is lucky because there is no mandate. There’s nothing like that,” Mashaba said in Johannesburg on Monday.
“Once you’re given a job, your mandate is automatic. Nobody doesn’t want to win. I don’t want to be a losing coach even if I’m building up a side. We’re looking at bringing results as well.”
Mashaba and his team depart for Khartoum on Wednesday ahead of their Friday's kickoff against Sudan, in what will be the team’s first group A qualifier for next year’s continental showpiece.
South Africa return immediately after the match to take on Nigeria in Cape Town on September 10.
Mashaba ended his spell as the national under-20 coach on Sunday, going out with a bang after his young side beat Cameroon 2-1 to qualify for the finals of the Caf Youth Championships. He said there was plenty of homework for the senior side to do before Wednesday's early morning departure.
“There will never be enough time – you can have six weeks or you can have six days, whatever,” he said.
“Honestly speaking, I know nothing about Sudan but I know they are a good side and we have to be careful.”
Meanwhile, Bafana defender Anele Ngcongca, expressed his delight to be working with Mashaba, who demanded respect from his charges.
“From what I saw this morning ... he said to the players: ‘you haven’t given me enough, I want to see enough',” Ngcongca said.
“You can imagine what he means by 'enough' – we played 45 minutes and some guys came from a 10 hour flight.
“He wants tempo and he wanted the spirit to be high. You can see that he is a fighter and a winner. I hope that can be transferred to the players.”
Based in Belgium, Ngcongca said he was pleased to be back in the national fold and was looking forward to working with a host of new young players who have been called up for the first time.
“I was so excited to see the team. I looked at the bunch of players the coach selected and that’s a motivation in itself because they are full of energy,” he said. – Sapa