world cup soccer 2010

South Africa Have No Fear - Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira

With just over two weeks to go before the opening match of the 2010 World Cup, Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira appears convinced that his team will be up to the challenge of competing at the global showcase.

"You saw that today we were not giving away possession unnecessarily which shows we have improved," said Parreira to Kickoff.com after the friendly clash with Bulgaria. "Giving away possession is better now than before, when we were giving away the ball way too many times.

"The penetration is also still something we need to improve on. Our full-backs need to go forward more often and improve on the delivery. I am impressed that we are imposing our style on our opponents.

"This is the level that we will face at the World Cup. I doubt it will be higher than this. I was particularly impressed with the way we played in the first half. This is a level of technique, organisation, possession, experience, set pieces, etc. that we will face at the World Cup," he said.

Though Bulgaria failed to qualify for the World Cup, they are a typical eastern Europe team who are polished and extremely organised, which is why Parreira is thrilled at having dominated them.

The Brazilian coach concedes that penetration in the last third was always a challenge that he faced even while coaching Brazil.

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"We are imposing our style on the opponents and today it was very clear we are a team that can play our game against an experienced team. We faced a team that always had nine men behind the ball, but what I liked about our play is that we were never intimidated. It was not easy to penetrate, but I am happy with the situation because in games like this you are never going to create too many chances. Of course, we went to sleep a bit when they scored the equaliser.

"To penetrate teams that always have nine men behind the ball is difficult. Even when I was coaching in Brazil, I faced the same difficulty of penetrating and I had Kaka, Ronaldo, Adriano and Ronaldinho in the team.

"You have to be patient and understand that it is not easy to penetrate as this is not a small team. I am happy with the situation because in these kinds of games you will create just two or three chances and if you score you will win the game," said Parreira, who made changes to his team last night in the second half.

"We have to make these changes because in a week we will be cutting down the squad to the 23 that FIFA wants. I am not confused, but I know what I want and it is getting clearer, although the competition is obviously tougher.

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