Banyana coach Ellis says the results did not reflect her team’s displays at the 2019 Cyprus Cup

07 March 2019 - 17:25 By Nick Said
Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Desree Ellis coach of South Africa during the Women Africa Cup of Nations South Africa Press Conference 21 November 2016 at Stad de Yaounde.
Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Desree Ellis coach of South Africa during the Women Africa Cup of Nations South Africa Press Conference 21 November 2016 at Stad de Yaounde.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana coach Desree Ellis says the results did not reflect her team’s performance at the 2019 Cyprus Cup‚ where the South Africans finished 10th out of 12 teams after a 3-0 loss to Finland on Wednesday.

Ellis has been using the tournament as a build-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in June-July‚ and experimented throughout‚ making another six changes for their play-off fixture against the Fins.

The result was against them‚ but the coach believes there were still plenty of positives to pull out of the game.

"We had a lot of new players playing‚ the way we played we dominated in all areas except the scoreboard‚” Ellis said.

“Our movement with and without the ball was much better‚ our rotation of the ball was good‚ but at this level the smallest mistake you make is punished.

"We have spoken about it before and it is something we really need to minimise.

"If you get a chance to score a goal‚ you have to take it. In all three previous games we have played‚ it could have changed things for us.”

Ellis said the tournament was the perfect platform to give her wider squad a run as she settles on the 23 players she will take to France.

"We needed to give other players a chance‚" she said.

"We had a new‚ in terms of caps‚ team on the pitch and they gave a good account of themselves. We had a few question-marks‚ but now there are less of those.

"We spoke in the beginning of the year about the preparation‚ using Netherlands and Sweden‚ as well as this tournament‚ to really have a look at new players‚ because the most experienced players play most of the time.

"We wanted to give the others more time to play‚ because then you can see what you have. If players are not made to come out of their comfort zone then you don't know what you can get out of them."

Ellis says that apart from cutting out errors‚ a more clinical touch is needed in front of goal if the team is to reach their full potential.

"It is not that we didn't have scoring opportunities‚ we had plenty. But at a higher level you need to be quicker – you need to make decisions quicker‚ to react quicker‚ they don't give you as much time as you get playing other opposition.

"It is about results‚ but for us it is about the bigger picture too‚ the much bigger picture‚ the World Cup.

"The results didn't come‚ but in all areas we were not as bad as the results showed‚ it is just those few moments and then you get punished.”

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