DURBAN - Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman, wants the side to adopt a winning mentality if they wish to conquer the continent. Bafana used to be one of the powerhouses of African football, but a rapid decline has seen them losing that status and they now struggle to qualify for major tournaments.
Now, Bafana battle against unfancied nations likes of Libya, Mauritania, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Gambia and Niger. As a result they are finding it difficult to qualify for major tournaments on a consistent basis.
Furman has challenged his side to adopt the winning mentality which inspired Bafana to greatness back in 1996 when they lifted the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on the home soil. In 1998, Bafana, were the runners-up in the Afcon in Burkina Faso and played at the World Cup in France. Those days are now history.
“It is a huge opportunity lost for us. Before the game we all said that 'yes, this is the game we need to win'. Sadly, it is an opportunity lost. As the coach said, if we can flip the results around, a draw away in Nigeria and the win here and that is four points and we would have be sitting here with a good start. Unfortunately that is not the way it is. We’ve drawn against Libya, a team we feel we should be beating. Of course it is disappointment,” Furman said after they were held 0-0 by Libya in Durban.
All is not lost for Bafana, though, as they are still on course to book a place in the Afcon in Cameroon next year after earning four points from two matches. After achieving an historical victory against Nigeria last year in the opening fixture, Bafana were expected to smash Libya but fired blanks as they shared the spoils.
“We have to be disappointed. We need that winning mentality. I think that is what top teams have got. They don’t celebrate zero-zeros. There are things to work on and to improve on. These are games which we should be winning. We've got to get that winning mentality back. We don’t want to accept a 0-0 draw against Libya as a good result. They might be some good moments and performances but overall we feel we should be winning. That is going to be the attitude going forward," a determined Furman said.
Bafana will face Seychelles home and away in their next two Afcon qualifiers, and anything less than six points in these two assignments will be considered as average, if not a failure.