Bafana Players Talking Tough : Super Eagles are Slow

South Africa International, Lebogang Manyama, is aware of the talent in the Nigerian side but maintains that the Super Eagles are not unbeatable.

The South African national team arrived in Nigeria last night, June 07, where Head Coach, Stuart Baxter and his side will continue preparations ahead of the country’s Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier against Nigeria on Saturday, June 10.

Speaking to the South African Football Association’s official website, the Cape Town City midfielder said, ”We know what Nigeria is capable of, we know about all the stars they have in their team but at the end of the day it is 11 vs 11 and they are human beings like us, they are not unbeatable. We have to go there believing in what we can do, we have to believe in our strengths and not worry too much about them. If we put up a team effort when we get there, we will most likely come up with a good result in the end,” Manyama revealed.

Bafana has a tough year ahead as the team focuses on qualifying for three major tournaments, the AFCON, Chan and the 2018 FIFA World Cup competition.

“Our challenge starts on Saturday with Nigeria, and if we can get through that one we should almost be able to deal with all the challenges that we will face in the national team. If we do well in the two competitions it will be great for the national team and for the entire country as it will open up many opportunities for the next two years or so,” the 26-year-old added.

Meanwhile, New Bafana Bafana captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo, says that the team knows what they must do if they’re going to get a result against Nigeria this weekend. 'Tyson’ will lead the team out in Uyo on Saturday evening for South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Super Eagles and he will do so as permanent captain of his country for the first time.

Having never beaten Nigeria in a competitive game, Hlatshwayo knows that it will not be an easy task, although seems confident that they can pick up a result on their travels this weekend.

 When asked whether Bafana will be intimidated by the Nigerians, he told the media, “We will not. We played Nigeria in Nigeria. We did well… Tokelo gave them a run for their money. We know we are smaller than them as players‚ so we don’t want to play the long ball but catch them on the counter. They are big‚ but a bit slow.

"It is a going to be a grudge game for them. Knowing Nigerians‚ that’s how they are. They do have that arrogance they carry around. We have to be humble and make sure we don’t give Nigeria too much respect‚ and not be scared of them.”
Bafana have only beaten Nigeria once – also under Stuart Baxter, for a friendly in 2004 and they will be hoping to change that record over the weekend.  

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