Bafana need mental strength: Parreira

12 May 2010

With less than 30 days to go before the kick-off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has urged South Africa’s national football team to alter their mental state.

“I have been telling my players that they should forget about the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Bafana Bafana, we are now World Cup players,” said Parreira.

The World Cup hosts are in their final training camp in Johannesburg.

The Brazilian has been impressed by the team’s improvement since the start of the training camps, but feels they still need to strengthen their mental capabilities.

“We are talking about a high level where the demand is very high – technically, tactically, physically and especially mentally. Sometimes you are under pressure, but you have to be strong mentally and not allow the other team to overcome you, and you have to fight to the end,” he said.

He added that he was confident that Bafana would not let the country down during the tournament.

He also dismissed reports that the national team is harbouring injured players.

“This is football – players get injured all the time. In Germany we had Siboniso Gaxa out for some time, but he has healed now. We don’t have any serious injuries at this moment, all the players are in good condition,” Parreira said.

Meanwhile, Parreira has added another physical trainer to his technical team.

“With Bafana Bafana I have been fighting for a long time to get another physical trainer because we had only Francesco Gonzalez, which is not enough. I think we are one physical trainer short especially for this crucial period of preparation,” he said.