Dean Furman speaks at a press conference in Polokwane on Thursday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Dean Furman speaks at a press conference in Polokwane on Thursday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter (centre) gives instruction during a training session as Furman and Siphiwe Tshabalala look on. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter (centre) gives instruction during a training session as Furman and Siphiwe Tshabalala look on. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

POLOKWANE - If selected for Bafana Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal on Friday night, Dean Furman will stick to his own style.

“You won’t see shibobos (nutmegs) from me,” the midfielder, whose work ethic precedes him, said.

Furman was unavailable through suspension for the national team’s previous clash at home against Burkina Faso in Group D of the qualifiers - a match in which Bafana’s midfield was the most fierce, full of creativity and the goals to go along with the performance in an impressive 3-1 win to boost their World Cup hopes.

But even after that showing, coach Stuart Baxter still emphasised that Furman was a central part to what he was building as he lamented the fact that he was missing the trio of defenders Mulomowandau Mathoho, captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, as well as Furman.

Baxter had to improvise, playing Andile Jali as a second striker behind Percy Tau and it worked like a charm.

“The boys were outstanding in that game. They put in a absolutely great performance,” said Furman. “So, whoever is selected (for Senegal), they have to continue in that fashion. Obviously different players offer different things to the team.

"My whole game is based on work rate. What I offer to the team is protection, work rate, keeping it ticking over and the ball moving. That’s my part, and if I’m selected I have to play my game," the SuperSport United skipper said.

"I can’t all of sudden play a different game because that is when you get found out as a player. Everyone has to come in and offer what they have got. I know that collectively we can put on a performance.”

Baxter hasn’t yet revealed who will start, although he has previously mentioned that Bafana, meaning his predecessors and himself included, have tinkered with the back four far too much on the road to Russia.

With Mathoho and Furman returning, the coach has a delightful headache, but still has to make sure he picks personnel that would get the job done.

Jali, however, is suspended for the home leg of these back-to-back qualifiers.

“There is no looking at other players and thinking you can do what they can do. We all have to believe that we all do what we do, and there’s a reason why we are here,” Furman added. 

“The coach watches us as individuals. He sees what we have to offer for our clubs and watches how we play there. And then he makes the master plan on how we can bring it all together. 

"Of course when we work in training, we work extremely hard on how we are going to put it together against the opposition both defensively, in terms of our pressing and shape, and then offensively in how we can hurt them.

"When we get it right we cause major problems to many teams. That is the confidence we take into the next game because we have given others problems before and we can do it again.”

Bafana must win on Friday and then again in Dakar next Tuesday to pip the Group D leaders for a place at the World Cup. It’s for Baxter to come up with the game plan and the players to execute it.


The Star

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