Manyama: Nigeria are beatable
Posted: 8 June 2017 Time: 10:13
Bafana Bafana midfielder Lebogang Manyama has expressed his confidence in the current squad of players, and is eager to emulate his club form on the international stage.
South Africa open their 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers away to Nigeria, where they will do battle at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday (18h00 SA time).
Bafana go into this weekend's encounter with a record of just one win in 12 meetings with the three-time AFCON winners, but can draw encouragement from the fact that they have not lost in their three most recent encounters.
Manyama is wary of the threat the Super Eagles pose in their own back yard, but remains adamant that, with strong belief and determination within the team, they can come back with a positive result.
"We know what Nigeria is capable of, we know about all the stars they have in their team but at the end of the day it is 11 vs 11 and they are human beings like us, they are not unbeatable. We have to go there believing in what we can do, we have to believe in our strengths and not worry too much about them. If we put up a team effort when we get there, we will most likely come up with a good result in the end," Manyama told SAFA Media.
The Alexandria-born attacker believes the strength of the squad is in the quality of the individuals, but also knows that cohesion on the field will be key to their success as they look to combine their strengths to form a formidable outfit.
"If you look at the talent that is here, it is amazing. Everybody that is in the squad is on top form and that is good for the team. Once we can contribute individually according to our strengths and mix it up with the team effort, it will turn out very well. I am just hoping that we can gel very quickly because it is going to be tough there [in Uyo] but, with the team that we have, impossible is nothing," he added.
With the depth in the squad in a promising state at present, the Cape Town City skipper is under no illusion that places in the team will come easy after his outstanding domestic campaign in which he finished as top goalscorer, and stresses the need to give maximum effort to get the nod for a starting berth.
"It’s very different when you come to the national where the 25 best players from South Africa are fighting for 11 positions, so you have to raise the bar a bit because you are amongst the best talents in the country. You cannot afford to slack down, you have to fight very hard for your position. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean at your club you relax, but you know when you get here it’s a bit tougher as everyone wants to play, with games coming once in a while, so you have to take it up a notch to get the nod. But the most important thing is that we must all support each other. Whoever is selected on the day, we are one team," he concluded.