Former Bafana Bafana defender Willem Jackson spoke with Goal.com South Africa about his impression on Bafana’s performances so far in the 2013 AfconGoal.com: Willem, what do you make of Bafana’s performance against Angola yesterday?
Jackson: I think they played well. The coach made a good decision by changing some players and starting some. I also think that the experience of Katlego Mphela upfront destabilized the Angolan defence which made things easy for Majoro to score that second goal.
Goal.com: You have spoken about the introduction of some players by Gordon Igesund, and we saw him bringing in Dean Furman for the injured Kagisho Dikgacoi. Do you believe Furman is a revelation to the national team?
Jackson: Furman is a great player, he won the midfield battle and helped the defence with some interceptions of balls, although he still struggles with high balls, but no doubt he’s a quality player and he played a big role against Angola.
Goal.com: What should the coach say to the players, now that we are a game away from reaching the knockout stages of the 2013 Afcon?
Jackson: I think Gordon should not put pressure on the players at this stage of the tournament. He should tell them to be more relaxed and tell them to enjoy their football. Fans also, shouldn’t put pressure on our players.
Goal.com: Willem, as a former defender and somebody who was there during the 1998 Afcon as well as during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, do you think we should be worried that maybe our defence hasn’t been tested?
Jackson: I think it is a good thing that we haven’t conceded a single goal but I still think (Siyabonga) Sangweni and (Bongani) Khumalo need to communicate more often if the team is to play against dangerous countries like Ivory Coast. Communication is vital.
Goal.com: Now it’s your turn to talk about Thuso Phala, who has been doing well for Gordon Igesund since selecting him to be part of the squad.
Jackson: Look, Thuso (Phala) is a good player, a very skilful player whose not afraid of taking players on. He’s done well for the team and made dangerous crosses in the past games and can also defend well. I would say he is the best winger South Africa have at the moment.
Goal.com: Would you expect coach Cavin Johnson to rest him after this Afcon or maybe you would like to see him continue from where he left in the tournament?
Jackson: It’s up to Thuso (Phala) and the coach but I think we will need him more. I would love to play him but again we wouldn’t want to kill him.
Goal.com: Willem, thank you very much for your time. What is your last message to the boys as they go into the last match of the group against Morocco?
Jackson: Everything of the best to our Bafana team. I am sure that they can get the points against Morocco because, if you watched Morocco, they only woke up in the last 20 minutes of the game against Cape Verde. We have good players that can take Morocco on.