South Africa coach backs fit-again Bernard Parker to come good

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has backed striker Bernard Parker to rediscover his form after a lacklustre display in a friendly against Zambia.

Mashaba admitted that the Kaizer Chiefs hitman was well below his best but backed him to get back to his best with regular game time.

Parker made his first appearance for the national side in the 1-0 win over Zambia, after a lengthy spell out with an injury.

“He (Parker) didn’t offer much but played his normal game. We saw that he looked unsure and uncertain. It was not the Bernard we know,” said Mashaba in a Sport24 report.

“There are chances he got and normally when he is on form he buries them. We didn’t worry because we know this was his first game after a long time not being in the team but he is going to help us with time.”

Mashaba was also confident that his attacking options would find their scoring touch too.

“In the striking force problems did emerge,” he said.

“We created chances, we managed to go behind the defence but couldn’t finish. It’s an area of concern in the striking force.

“However, this game should not be a yardstick because the boy’s level of fitness is questionable. Some of them last played before Christmas. Normally when players go a week without playing or training, their mood switches off and for them to restart it becomes a problem.

“It’s not about departments but the whole teams needs a wake-up call, we are not all sharp.”