South African footballers need confidence

14:05, March 20, 2010      

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South Africa's national football team Bafana Bafana need to build up their self-confidence and improve their finishing ahead of the World Cup, according to their Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Parreira was speaking on Thursday night after Bafana Bafana played to a goalless draw against Brazilian club side Cruzeiro in a friendly match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.

Football365 described the game as unexciting but said it allowed Parreira to assess the progress of his squad.

Parreira said Bafana Bafana's poor attacking performance was due there being an excessive number of foreign strikers in South Africa's Premier Soccer League.

This meant South Africa had not groomed its own strikers.

In addition, he said, the friendly match against one of Brazil's leading club sides also showed that the squad's self-confidence needs to be improved.

Bafana Bafana will play the opening game against Mexico on June 11 when South Africa host the FIFA World Cup.

The coach wants them to become accustomed to big-stadium atmosphere.

Parriera said it was evident that Bafana Bafana who have never played at a stadium like the Mineirao, against a team of Cruzeiro's level, felt intimidated.

"Young players feel the weight of responsibility. That is why we have to improve confidence to keep the ball longer, get fewer passes wrong, but we will attain that by playing more matches and keeping the team together."

Bafana Bafana are just over a week into a month-long training camp in Brazil.

Source: Xinhua
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