Hugo Broos says bringing in new players to the Bafana Bafana team is about letting the regulars know that no one is guaranteed a place and everyone will have to sweat for their space.
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Broos is expected to make changes in his Bafana starting line-up when they play Botswana in an international friendly at 5.30pm at FNB Stadium.
With some of his trusted strikers out with injuries, Broos was forced to call up the likes of Zakhele Lepasa who made an impression in the 4-0 win over Sierra Leone last weekend.
Ashley Du Preez and Khanyisa Mayo are expected to get a run up front against Botswana. Broos said it was a chance for these new players to cement their paces in the team.
“When you choose (a squad) there are always people who agree, and those who don’t. We know that (Bongokuhle) Hlongwane, Percy (Tau), Fagrie Lakay and (Lyle) Foster are not here now.
“But it is okay, it will foster more fighting spirit in the team because they know now that while they are here, there are still other players ready,” said Broos.
“And they have to improve when they want to play at the high level they need to accept that. They need to fight for their places and this is hopefully what we can achieve now.
“The players who are not here now because they are injured need to know it will not be easy to come back. I think this situation is good and can only improve the team.”
Broos said he is getting closer to getting his team and admitted that he had to start from scratch because he didn’t know much about South African players when he started out.
“When I came here it was a totally strange country when you talk about football. I had to go to many games and scout and see who has what.
“Then you have to choose. There was not much time (because of games). But after that we thought we needed to change something.
“We changed things and it was still not right but now I think we did good. We can go on from here. But we have to guard against being too optimistic and remain realistic.
“We played against a good team (Sierra Leone), not a great team. So, I think on Tuesday it may be a little tougher, I don’t know we will see. We have to keep working.
“This is just the beginning. We have to improve because we have qualifiers for Afcon coming up and then we have to be ready to go to Afcon.
“At Afcon you play against the best teams in Africa and you have to be ready for that. There is still a long way to go,” said Broos.