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The coach was candid in admitting a below par performance from his side on Wednesday night

Despite enduring a frustrating night against the reigning champions, Gordon Igesund insisted that with enough preparation time his South Africa team could still win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations next year.

“I’m very disappointed, we never looked like a team out there,” said the coach after Bafana Bafana were beaten 1-0 at home by Zambia in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Soccer City, in front of a disappointingly small crowd of just over 16 000.

The stay away reflected the general apathy towards the team from a despondent South African public and a tepid showing on Wednesday would have done nothing to lift their spirits.

But Igesund said it was difficult to expect immediate improvement as “we are not yet a team”.

“I know what I have to do and if I can get all my key players fit by the end of the year, then I’ve got three weeks to work with them and we can improve by between 30 to 40 percent.”

Igesund said Bafana had not created enough chances, praising what he called an excellent Zambia team.

“We wanted to win the game and it was quite even in departments but you can see we need more time. We are just not a national team at the moment. We haven’t done a lot of stuff together. Just five games and eight training sessions. We’ve hardly had any time to prepare,” he added.

“Right now we are just playing off the cuff but I can assure you that by the time the Nations Cup starts we’ll be a completely different team that takes to the field against the Cape Verde Islands.”

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