Ronwen Williams believes Bafana Bafana can cope without their absent overseas-based players, when they take on Ghana in an Africa Cup of Nations Group C qualifier at FNB Stadium on Thursday (kick off 6pm).
The Covid-19 pandemic has left many clubs in Europe unwilling to release their players for this international week, which is an impediment to Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki and his side.
Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero and Dean Furman are all set to miss the clash with the Black Stars, though Bafana have said they are still in negotiations to get the players for their final qualifier in Sudan on Sunday.
The consolation for Bafana is that Ghana are in a similar situation – the Black Stars, indeed, chose to leave many of their overseas-based stars out, and have been in camp with a mainly locally-based squad.
Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew and Thomas Partey, three of Ghana’s main-men, will not be part of the Bafana game, though they will be available for Ghana’s final Afcon qualifier at home to Sao Tome.
“Obviously we are disappointed to have lost some of our soldiers, but the players who come in need to step up,” said Williams this week.
“It is not going to be easy, because there is a short time between now and the match. But the preparation started long ago. The technical team sent us information long before, so we know the game plan, we know what to do and how Ghana play.
“It is just for us as leaders to help the new guys coming in.”
Even if Bafana were to lose to Ghana, a point in Sudan would guarantee them progress to the rescheduled Afcon finals, set to be played in Cameroon early next year.
Williams revealed that from the start Bafana’s ambitions have been to top the group, however (they are currently tied with Ghana on nine points).
“At the beginning of this journey the coach asked us what we want to achieve and we said we want to to be number one in the group,” added the Bafana goalkeeper.
“So far, so good, and another thing was we said we want to win all out home games … we have two out of two (Bafana have beaten Sudan and Sao Tome on home soil) and we want to keep that record going.”