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Team Spirit Crucial - Shoes 22/12/03
Veteran midfielder John Shoes Moshoeu believes Bafana Bafana stand a very good chance of lifting the African Nations Cup early next year.

The mercurial playmaker, a member of Clive Barkers winning team in 1996, told City Press that the secret to lifting the title will be team spirit and the ability of the individuals to gel into a single cohesive entity.

"If we play as a unit, which I hope we will do, support each other both on and off the field and forget about the opposition but play our own brand of soccer, we will win this tournament, Moshoeu is quoted as saying.

"Don't forget that in 1996 we faced some of the toughest countries on our way to winning the title.

"The most difficult teams in our group will, of course, be Nigeria and Morocco, but I can tell you now they are also worried about us. They don't know how they are going to stop Bafana Bafana."

The 38-year-old Kaizer Chiefs player, along with goalkeeper Andre Arendse and defender Mark Fish the only survivors of the 1996 triumph, urged coach Shakes Mashaba to settle on a starting lineup and then stick with it.

"One aspect that led to our success in 1996 was consistency in the team, said Moshoeu.

Even if you asked a child, he would be able to tell you who would be in the starting line-up."

Moshoeu, whose selection, despite scintillating form at club level, was somewhat controversial given his age, said his experience would provide the team with an important edge.

"Look at Brazil, their team always has a veteran player who is there to guide the younger generation. Remember Dunga and now Cafu?  he said.

"My performance for Chiefs speaks for itself. I'm currently on top of my game. I've just won the Coca-Cola Cup Player of the Series and that underscores my season so far."

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