Following the absence of Bongani Khumalo and Siyabonga Sangweni in the heart of the Bafana defense, FC Rostov defender Siyanda Xulu has admitted that the defenders in the current team have a huge gap to fill.
Xulu said that he is willing to step up and marshal the Bafana defense, given the opportunity against the Central African Republic on Saturday night, but admitted that the competition for the centre-back position is very tough with the likes of Morgan Gould and Eric Mathoho in the squad.
“Every player that is called to the national team would like to play in every match, which might not be possible, but yes given a chance I will take it with both hands,” said Xulu.
“We have other capable players like Morgan Gould, Thabo Nthete and Mulomowandao Mathoho who can also do a good job in that position and I am certain whoever is picked to play will not disappoint and will have my support. At the end of the day it is the coach’s call and we will have to respect his decision,” he added.
The 21-year-old defender revealed that the preparations for the Central African Republic game went well, and highlighted the fact that Bafana are playing at home as an added advantage and a motivation for them to emerge victorious.
“I think it is going to be a very good game, looking at our training so far, I believe we are going to do well. We are playing at home and we are very motivated and I am almost certain we are going to win the game. We have to go all out for a win and get the campaign to Brazil back on the road,” he said.
Xulu also revealed that he has moved on from the pain of missing the 2013 Afcon tournament, but said he was impressed with the way Bafana played and he hopes to represent the country in such tournaments in the near future.
“As a player I felt very sad because I would have loved to represent my country in such a prestigious tournament, but I was really impressed with the way the guys played. Now the tournament is behind us, we have to focus on the present, I hope I will get a chance to represent my country in another tournament in the not so distant future," added Xulu.