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Rantie backs under-fire Igesund

Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie has backed Gordon Igesund as the right man for the national coaching job

Bafana Bafana’s Tokelo Rantie vies with Botswana's Mogogi Gabonamong during a 2014 Soccer World Cup Qualifying match at The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 7 September 2013. Picture: AFP/ANESH DEBIKY

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie has voiced his support for Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, despite the national team's embarrassing group stage exit in the 2014 Orange African Nations Championship leading to the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, branding the national team as "useless".

The AFC Bournemouth striker was speaking exclusively to Sports Talk from England after his side were knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool.

With Gordon Igesund's position as coach one of the hot topics being discussed in South African football circles at the moment, Rantie says the 57 year old Igesund is quite clearly the best man for the job.

"With all the hard work that the coach has been doing, we tend to not give him enough credit. I personally believe that soon things will turn out in a good way for us, and we will manage to satisfy the fans by doing well for the national team."

Rantie says that while he understands the fans frustration, they need to retain their faith in the players that are sent out to do national duty.

"It's not something that we plan to do. We always want to do our best for the national team, and I think if we have enough support on our side then we can turn things around. I don't think it's a matter of us changing certain things with the national team, the critics must just stop. Everyone needs to support the national team fully."

Rantie says that while the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was disappointing, it was a valuable learning experience.

"As much as everyone is disappointed with the way the national team played at the CHAN tournament, I think we actually need to look at the positives. There is so much criticism aimed at the national team at the moment, but we need support. We can't perform miracles overnight, we need to build steadily."