Manyama relishing Bafana pressure
Posted: 5 June 2017 Time: 21:22
Cape Town City forward Lebogang Manyama says he is relishing the pressure that comes with donning the Bafana Bafana jersey.
The Citizens skipper enjoyed a stellar season with his Cape club and was duly rewarded with a call-up to Stuart Baxter’s Bafana squad ahead of Saturday’s African Nations Cup qualifier in Nigeria.
With goal-scoring a perennial problem at both club and national level, many will be looking to Manyama to assist in that department, having ended the 2016/17 campaign as the league’s top scorer with 13 goals.
Yet despite the expectations, the 26-year-old – who is still to find the back of the net in his nine games for his country – insists he won’t let the pressure get to him.
“In life, even guys that work at the robots are under some sort of pressure,” he tells KickOff.com. “There’s pressure everywhere, but you have to enjoy this kind of pressure.
"People are saying they believe in your abilities and you can do it, so why go there and doubt yourself? At the same time, you have to put in the hard work – you can be the best player in the world, but if you don’t put in the effort, it won’t matter.
“There’s probably about ten players in the world that can count on their talent only, but most have to work hard, and have to push themselves to the limit.”
Manyama, who is currently being treated for a knee injury, along with a host of teammates in the Bafana camp, says he hopes to thrive if given the nod by Baxter, but acknowledges that playing at an international level is a major step up from club football.
“If you are carrying the weight of the country on your shoulders, you have to enjoy that moment and make the best out of it,” he said. “And hopefully if I get the chance I can do that. But if it doesn’t happen, I know I have to be patient – playing in the national team compared to playing at club level is not the same thing.”