Steve can make his case for Bafana role
STEVE Komphela does not have the inside track on the Bafana Bafana coaching job, but there is no denying the caretaker mentor has a unique opportunity to make a strong case for it.
Komphela will again guide Bafana in their friendly international against Gabon at Mbombela stadium on Friday, and he knows full well it is a match in which Bafana have to end a streak without a win dating back to last August.
Komphela is on the short list for the job, which also includes decorated Premier League coaches Gordon Igesund and Gavin Hunt, and former Bafana skipper and Thanda Royal Zulu coach Neil Tovey.
But, while many feel Komphela has an advantage, since he is doing the job on a temporary basis after the sacking of Pitso Mosimane last week, the Free State Stars coach does not see it that way.
"If the game against Botswana forms part of the selection criteria, then they will make a black mark against my name," said the outspoken Komphela as he wriggled his way out of a tangle of questions.
According to a Safa insider, football association bosses are applying their minds to the job of appointing a new coach and will not rush the process.
"Obviously there'll be pressure on the technical committee to find a replacement for Mosimane as soon as possible, but the process could take longer as the association will be looking to find the right man for the job," said Komphela.
"The team hasn't been doing well and that is a serious concern to the association."
The Safa bigwigs watched Bafana stutter to a 1-1 draw against the Zebras at the University of Botswana stadium on Saturday, in a performance that puts in serious doubt the team's ability to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
There are still 12 points up for grabs in four games for Bafana, after they dropped four points in their last two World Cup qualifiers and, judging by the team's lethargic efforts in the last two weeks, it would be hard to find optimists in the football-mad nation.
A lot was expected from Bafana against Botswana, after their poor start to their qualifying campaign.
But, against the Zebras, South Africa were hard-pressed, and at times bullied, although it should be said they never submitted.
Morgan Gould headed Bafana into the lead in the 14th minute, but Botswana levelled matters through Ofentse Nato minutes before the halfway interval.
"We created chances and could have scored more goals. But the bumpy pitch made things awkward - and we came up against good opponents," said Komphela.
"I don't believe there's a rule in football that says we have to draw permanently. Neither is there one saying we have to win or lose permanently. We have to change things, but as I speak we drew the match. Two points... not really pleasing. We'll have to go out there, keep our head up and keep working in the hope that next time we will get something."