Nyathi: Bafana Bafana should be wary of Nigeria

Nyathi, who made 45 international appearances, tells Goal that Gordon Igesund has enough quality to win Chan, but he is wary of Nigeria

By Ernest Makhaya

Bafana Bafana legend David Nyathi has told Goal that Gordon Igesund’s men should do well in the Chan tournament which kicks off in Cape Town on Saturday evening.

Bafana open the campaign against Mozambique in the Mother City, and Nyathi doesn’t expect the South African players to struggle with altitude.

“All the players in the squad have played in Cape Town before, and therefore I don’t think altitude will be an issue,” Nyathi told Goal. “I think with the quality of the players that we have, Bafana should do well in this tournament,” he said.

Although Igesund has had less than 10 days to prepare his team for this tournament, Nyathi believes that it was adequate enough for the SA coach to get his tactics right.

“Igesund has had enough time to prepare for this tournament. I think a week is enough given the fact that a lot of these players have been playing together for some time.

“A week is really enough to work on his tactical approach, and the kind of players he has should really perform and possibly go all the way,” he added.

The Ajax Cape Town assistant coach has urged Bafana to respect their opponents despite having what most regard as the best squad.

“Anything that you don’t know you should respect, and Bafana should not undermine their opponents, but I think the advantage is that we have a solid team that we know can perform,” he said.

Nyathi believes that Nigeria are the favourites to win the Chan tournament, but he doesn’t write the hosts off altogether.    

“Nigeria poses a lot of threat, because they are the current African champions with a very intelligent coach in Stephen Keshi. He has built a solid structure.

“Mali has been quiet in recent years, and we don’t know how far they have gone in terms of growth. We all know that our neighbours Mozambique always give 120 per cent, but we should be wary of Nigeria although we know that nothing is guaranteed in football,” concluded Nyathi.

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