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Igesund: We will compete against Spain

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Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says his side will not roll up and die against Spain but will compete. Igesund was speaking to the media at the end of the national team’s two-hour training session in sweltering heat at the FNB Stadium where South Africa and Spain will meet in an international friendly match scheduled for Tuesday, 19 November 2013.

All the players are in camp for the match, dubbed “The Champions are Coming,” including late call-up Tebogo Langerman who has replaced the injured Tsepo Masilela.

“It is important for players to play such matches, and one thing I can tell you is that we are going to be competitive on the night. There is no bigger test than Spain to gauge ourselves how far we have come. We should not underestimate ourselves because we can keep the ball, we can also knock it around and defend too, that is why I think it is going to be a nice game because both teams play good football. We are going to be prepared and I want to believe both teams will put up a good showing,” said Igesund.

Spain beat Equatorial Guinea 2-1 yesterday (Saturday, 16 November) en route to South Africa.

“You can’t read too much into these results because the teams are trying out players. Many thought we will go out there and beat Swaziland seven or 9-0, but the gap between the so-called big guns and so-called minnows is closing rapidly and there are no more easy games,” added Igesund.

“We will try to entertain but the main objective is to win, and I believe they are also coming here to enjoy themselves and also try to win the game.“

Bafana Bafana players are also confident of the big match coming up, and added that the result is not a foregone conclusion.

“It is a big test for us, we want to see how far we have come as a team and we want to keep progressing, and there is not better way to do that than to play against world champions. We don’t want to sit back the whole match but we will take the game to them and show what we also have because we have exciting attacking players and we want them to express themselves on the night,” said midfielder Dean Furman.

Furman said that the recent results that Bafana Bafana have been getting have put them in good stead ahead of this match.

“We don’t want to see it as daunting, but we are confident in the camp because we come from a good win against Swaziland and a tough draw against Morocco last month so we are really looking forward to the game. We are not afraid of anyone.

“We know they are the world champions and have some of the best players in the world and we will give them the respect they are due, but we are playing at home in front of our fans and we want those fans to see a team they can be proud of. As a player this is the kind of match you want to play where you meet the best in the business and I am confident on the night we will deliver,” added the England-based midfield strongman.