Bafana’s Africa Cup of Nations journey begins on Saturday against Cape Verde, and public support is up and down considering the team’s pre-tournament performances.
Rabutla was part of the Bafana squad that came second at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations under Jomo Sono, with Benni McCarthy joint top-scoring with seven goals, and ‘Jaws of Life’ recalls how that squad went to the tournament with very little public support.
“Remember, that squad was criticised a lot because Jomo left the likes of Doctor Khumalo out of his squad but he motivated us and made us believe in ourselves,” Rabutla tells Goal.com.
“He told us to go out there and prove the critics wrong. Our current squad needs motivation from Gordon Igesund because they need to go to the tournament physically and mentally fit.”
Rabutla says he believes the current crop of players “lack hunger”, and is concerned about the strength of the defence – but he says if a player like Tokelo Rantie plays his cards right, he could become the new McCarthy at the tournament.
“Our Bafana team can play, but my problem is at the back. Our defenders have no confidence and they seem too soft.
“Up front also, I believe that if we can get a goal in the first 10 minutes against Cape Verde then players will get their confidence back and we will see more goals.”