Bafana put past be­hind them

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

EAST LON­DON: Bafana Bafana cap­tain Mario Booy­sen says they are look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge of fac­ing Zam­bia in the first leg clash of their 2018 CHAN qual­i­fier in East Lon­don at 3pm to­day.

Booy­sen says the team have to put the past be­hind them and fo­cus on the task ahead.

This comes af­ter sev­eral play­ers with­drew from the squad and re­place­ments had to be called in.

“At the end of the day it is foot­ball, we have to adapt to the sit­u­a­tion, it is an­other chal­lenge for us but one that we have to over­come.

“It may seem like it has af­fected the prepa­ra­tions but it is re­ally noth­ing to look into be­cause all of the guys that are here have a good at­ti­tude. The play­ers that have come in look just as ready,” said Booy­sen.

“We all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to per­form for the na­tional team, be­cause when all is said and done, you re­ally look for­ward to this mo­ment in your ca­reer. We don’t see any neg­a­tives but only pos­i­tiv­ity, so we have to get a good re­sult.”

Stu­art Bax­ter’s charges ar­rived in the city on Wed­nes­day and were warmly re­ceived by their fans at the air­port, some­thing that has given the play­ers con­fi­dence to tackle Zam­bia.

“We are quite con­fi­dent, es­pe­cially af­ter the way the fans wel­comed us when we ar­rived here.

“We know there is a lot of sup­port com­ing from this side and we just have to come up with the cor­rect per­for­mance. You can also see at train­ing, and you can tell the guys are very con­fi­dent,” added Booy­sen.

“It is im­por­tant that we do well in the first leg be­cause we don’t want to go to Zam­bia next week need­ing to get a re­sult when we travel for the re­turn leg.

“The most im­por­tant thing is not to con­cede, but on the other hand we need to score goals to stand any chance of win­ning this two-legged af­fair and qual­i­fy­ing for the tour­na­ment.

“We have done very well up to this point, so we need to keep it up, and take it a notch higher as Zam­bia is not an easy team. We have had our chal­lenges this week but we will put them aside come match day.”

The re­turn leg is next week­end in Ndola, Zam­bia.

The over­all win­ner will qual­ify for the 2018 CHAN tour­na­ment, which will be hosted by Kenya. – African News Agency

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