Gaborone, Botswana – Bafana Bafana coach Steve Komphela said it was time his side started producing results ahead of their crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday.
South Africa have gone seven successive matches without a win.
“It's high time we started winning, and I'm highly optimistic about our chances,” Komphela said on Friday.
“It wasn't an easy week to go through. The mood is relaxed and it's a focussed team.”
The coach hinted on the turmoil that the team had been through following the axing of Pitso Mosimane on Tuesday after their 1-1 draw against Ethiopia in the opening match of their qualifying campaign in Phokeng.
“Professionals must have emotional intelligence, so we're aware of the challenges but we're very optimistic,” he said.
Komphela admitted there were challenges in playing the crucial qualifier away from home.
“I think for them there's an advantage playing at home,” he said.
“Another advantage is that they lost (2-0 against Central African Republic in their qualifying opener). Sometimes defeat brings you back to mother earth.
“You start working hard, and for us, we know the challenges and both teams want to win the match, which is natural.
“We have to try and be the ones who want it more.
“We've talked about it with the players, we're aware of what we have been doing and we want to change that position and start winning.
“That will obviously take you through to Brazil 2014, and we are ready for that.”
With little time to prepare after Mosimane's departure, Komphela said he would not change much in order to produce a positive result.
“It will not be a fresh start per se, with either an injection or a challenge that is not familiar,” Komphela said.
“I've worked for coach Pitso. We share a philosophy of how we do things.
“I don't think there's a stop and a start. Even if you had wished for a stop and a start, in two or three days, that would be suicidal.
“We are working very hard to get three points.
“If you can only have us in your prayers and wishes, and the support of the team that we should get the result – that is the priority.”
Earlier, forward Thulani Serero limped off from training at the University of Botswana stadium.
Serero suffered a groin injury in their first session since arriving in the country on Thursday.
“Serero just pulled out of our training session,” Komphela said.
“I still need to get proper feedback, I have not met with a doctor, but what I do know is that it's a problem with the groin.”
The coach, however, said all the other players in his squad were fit and ready for the match. – Sapa