Addressing members of the media after the morning training session at Athlone Stadium on Monday, Mashaba said the issue of whether Nigeria would be banned or not by the world football governing body, FIFA was neither here nor there as far as the team’s training regime was concerned.
“As far as I am concerned, we will play Nigeria on Wednesday and we are ready to go to battle and it is a big one and I have told my boys to up their game, come Wednesday,” said Mashaba.
The Bafana Bafana mentor said the good thing about Wednesday’s game was the fact that the boys had removed pressure off themselves by winning against Sudan in Khartoum last Friday.
Second half replacement, Sibusiso Vilakazi, came on eight minutes into the second period and scored a superb brace to send South Africa on their way three days ago, and Mashaba hinted that he was resisting the temptation to include Vilakazi in his starting line-up as a result of the Wits’ midfielder’s heroics.
“In modern football, that is what we call a tactical move. You don’t throw all your good players from the word go. You throw them from the bench when the opposition is tiring. All three subs that came on paid dividends. It was like they were saying; we want to show the coach that we don’t belong to the bench,” added Mashaba.
Apart from Andile Jali, who is nursing a slight knock, Bafana Bafana medical team has given the squad a clean bill of health.