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Benni McCarthy backs Kermit Erasmus and Lebogang Manyama for friendlies with Guinea-Bissau, Angola

Posted: 21 March 2017 Time: 13:07

South Africa’s all-time topscorer Benni McCarthy feels Kermit Erasmus and Lebogang Manyama should be trusted in finding the back of the net in their side’s upcoming friendlies.

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SAFA announced a 25-man squad for this month’s encounters against Guinea-Bissau and Angola with a number of new faces in attacking positions. They include young trio Luther Singh, Phakamani Mahlambi and Percy Tau, as well as a return for France-based striker Erasmus, Kortrijk’s Lars Veldwijk and in-form joint league topscorer Manyama.

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The array of attacking talent has left many scratching their heads as to who will be handed a starting berth for the friendly internationals, with McCarthy, who netted a record 31 goals for Bafana, revealing his picks for the South African attack.

“It depends on the system the coach decides to play, but for me, I definitely think Kermit down the middle,” he tells KickOff.com. “He plays in Europe and has played against a lot of European opposition, so he should definitely have a starting place.

“And I definitely think Lebo Manyama as well – he’s proven himself, he’s now the league’s top goalscorer and you can’t exclude him from the starting XI.

“In a 4-3-3, I’d start Manyama on the right, Tau on the left and Erasmus in the middle, with the likes of Mahlambi and Singh coming in with their injection of pace coming on of the bench, playing a few minutes to get a feel of the senior level.”

Regarding the call-up of Under-20 stars Mahlambi and Singh, McCarthy feels the youngsters will need the support of the entire squad to help them settle, yet believes Owen da Gama’s support will be most important.

“It’s important to have the support from your coach, most of all,” he says.

“If you have the confidence and support of your coach, you’ll have the confidence not to worry, but to go out there and do the best you can, and not be scared of anything else. When you have that assurance, it’s like a parent telling you everything will be ok. In football, that’s the coach’s job. And hopefully the coaches we have will be able to man-manage the players accordingly.”

Bafana are currently in camp in Durban ahead of Saturday’s clash against Guinea-Bissau at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Kick-off is set for 15h00.

Article by: Fabio De Dominicis
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