Booysen backs Bafana replacements

Mamelodi Sundowns

South Africa touched down in East London on Wednesday but saw their preparations hampered after no fewer than 10 of their initial 25-man squad players were recalled by their respective clubs.

However, Mamelodi Sundowns defender Booysen is convinced head coach Stuart Baxter still has the necessary ammo at his disposal to see off the challenge of Chipolopolo on Saturday [15h00 kickoff].

“At the end of the day, it is football, we have to adapt to the situation, it is another challenge for us but one that we have to overcome,” Booysen said on the official Safa website after Bafana’s first training session.

“It may seem like it has affected the preparations but it is really nothing to look into because all of the guys that are here have a good attitude. The players that have come in look just as ready.

“The fact is that we all have a responsibility to do our duty and perform for the national team, because when all is said and done, you really look forward to this moment in your career of representing your country.

“We don’t see any negatives but only positivity, so we have to get a good result.”

He continued: “We are quite confident, especially playing in East London looking at the way the fans welcomed us when we arrived here. We know there is a lot of support coming from this side and we just have to come up with the correct performance. You can also see at training, and you can tell the guys are very confident.

“It is important that we do well in the first leg because we don’t want to go to Zambia next week needing to get a result as it will be more difficult when we travel for the return leg.

“The most important thing is not to concede, but on the other hand we need to score goals to stand any chance of winning this two-legged affair and qualifying for the tournament.

“We have done very well up to this point, so we need to keep it up, and take it a notch higher as Zambia is not an easy team. We have had our challenges this week but we will put them aside come match day.”