POLOKWANE, 03 JUN – Brave Warriors players say they have put their disappointment aside and are now focused on their next match after losing their 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup quarter-final match against Zambia.
Speaking to Nampa after their first training session following Saturday’s defeat, the players said they were disappointed, but vowed to bounce back on Tuesday, when they go up against either South Africa or Madagascar in the Plate semi-final.
Captain Ronald Ketjijere said while the players were sad after losing to Zambia, they have picked themselves up.
“We understand such disappointments. We have to put the defeat aside and focus on the match on Tuesday. The spirit in camp has greatly improved from what it was yesterday,” he said.
Ketjijere said the way the team is being managed has also helped young players deal with defeat easily, as all players know each other from club level and from the junior national teams.
Riaan Hanamub, one of the two players who missed the penalty along with Ketjijere, said maybe playing from the quarter-final stage contributes to them losing matches.
“This is the third year we are losing at the quarter-final stage. Maybe it takes time for us to get going. But excuses aside, we must always aim to win,” he said.
Vitapi Ngaruka said while they are all disappointed, they have spoken amongst themselves and vowed to do better.
Meanwhile, head coach Ricardo Mannetti said he was impressed by how the players reacted following the defeat.
“Normally a day after the defeat, you expect things to be slow. But clearly these boys have character and they have picked themselves up. They know you cannot become a bad player or team over night,” he explained.