Bafana Bafana coach David Notoane is impressed by the dedication of his players ahead of their COSAFA Cup game against Botswana at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday.
The coach says competition in the camp is healthy and the players are hungry to make an impression to earn possible call-ups to the national team that will compete at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"It's exciting. I did put it out to them and coach Stuart Baxter came to speak to them about what he needs from them," said Notoane.
"I think from the technical side we've made everything we can to inspire and help them on what is needed to be in that final squad. The talent is there and they just have to step up."
Bafana begin their COSAFA run with Botswana, who also have not played so far in the tournament, and Notoane believes that will give both teams an equal chance compared to the sides that have already felt the atmosphere of this year's tournament.
"If you look at this tournament you can say it's an advantage to come in the quarters, but on the flip side you look at what is happening at other teams," he continued.
"I think lots of them here are at the end of their domestic seasons. That means they still have momentum, which gives them a physiological edge compared to us. The first game is always difficult so against Botswana we have to be switched on even though we come from the same equation as we were both seeded to be in the quarters."
Notoane says he is looking to use all players in the tournament with one thing in mind, which is winning the title, not forgetting that most of the team are under-23 players who are about to begin their Olympic qualification matches.
"Look, we have to try and give everyone a run without compromising the results, we are representing Bafana and I told them it's a complex situation," he explained. "Yes, it's an under-23 side but we have to fulfil the national team duties and make sure they are ready to be in a Bafana Bafana jersey."
By Nkululeko Dladla