local soccer 5.9.2013 06:00 am

Mandate not fazing Rantie

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund stressed two things the team needed to fine-tune before coming up against Botswana at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a must-win 2014 World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

The first is bettering the ratio of converting the chances they create. “A 50% conversion rate would be ideal,” Igesund said. The second is setpieces.

“We are not like clockwork at the moment,” he said, “we have to get there.” Tokelo Rantie, below, whose move from Swedish outfit Malmo FF saw AFC Bournemouth of England break their transfer record, will be responsible in ensuring these things happen as he leads the attack.

He cut a relaxed figure with the tough mandate. “If you feel pressure then you won’t perform,” Rantie said. “The pressure will always be there but it’s not something that you can think about. I believe we will get the maximum points.”

Doing just that won’t be enough for Bafana to reach the play-offs. They need the Central African Republic to beat or hold Ethiopia. The message from the team has been to look at only their match. When Rantie looks at his game, he is impressed.

“I am at a stage where I can see what I am learning,” Rantie said. “I can experience and feel it. It makes my game much, much easier now. I see the game differently, I do things differently. “Hopefully the same things I have been doing in Sweden, I can do for the national team.”

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