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Eleazar Rodgers welcomes pressure ahead of crucial Bafana Bafana match against Burkina Faso

Posted: 7 October 2016 Time: 11:03

Bafana Bafana striker Eleazar Rodgers has accepted the pressure that comes with his national team call-up and is hoping to use it to his advantage.

Rodgers returns to the fold after a four-year absence as Bafana take on Burkina Faso in their opening group fixture of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Saturday.

The 30-year-old frontman acknowledges the pressure he faces at a crucial stage for both the nation and coach Shakes Mashaba, whose position has come under scrutiny in recent months.

"I think there's always some sort of pressure that comes with scoring goals but, as a striker, it's your role to score the goals," said Rodgers.

"Trying to help Bafana score goals might also add a little bit of pressure because, like the coach has said, it has been a problem in previous years until now.

"Hopefully we can come up with a solution to help the team get more goals."

The Bidvest Wits goal poacher also believes certain players thrive under pressure and as professional players – particularly strikers – need to use it to their advantage.

"Sometimes pressure is good for you. It can bring out the best in you and, we are professionals, so we need to turn that pressure into some good composure and do the business on the day," he added.

"We do have a good squad and, as the coach has mentioned, we do create opportunities so we just have to have a stong mentality in front of goals and put the ball in the back of the net.

"Goals is what we need and hopefully we can work on that without putting any extra pressure on ourselves. It's our job as strikers to score goals, so we'll try our best to do that."

The clash is scheduled to take place at the Stade 4 du Aout, with kick-off set for 20h00 (SA time).

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
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