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Pattison: Igesund Needs Time

Matthew Pattison came back into the Bafana Bafana fold at the last minute after an injury to Jabulani Shongwe. In his short term in the camp, the Wits star seemed to have caught the eye of coach Gordon Igesund. He played the full 90 minutes against Mali and started against Nigeria. However, against the Super Eagles things didn't go according to plan and Bafana crashed out of the tournament after a 3-1 defeat. In this interview with the player, we asked him what went wrong...

David Minchella: Hi Matthew, it's probably fair to say the country feel let down by the loss to Nigeria. What do you think went wrong? 

Matthew Pattison: We knew what we needed to do and we didn't do it. As players we've got to take the blame. We didn't come to the party and we let ourselves down. There's only so much the coach can do at the end of the day. We made a couple of errors and that killed us at the end.

DM: Was it a case that tactically we got it wrong or was it more that we weren't competitive enough in all departments?

MP: We weren't competitive enough. They outmuscled us and outran us. They won the second balls. Tactically the coach for me went with the right thought about his setup of five in midfield. Obviously on the day we weren't quite competitive enough.

DM: What was Gordon's message to you guys in the dressing room after the game?

MP: After the game the coach told us the truth and was realistic with us. He said we were outmuscled and were beaten by the better team. He said there was no getting away from those hard facts.  

DM: Matty, in your opinion, is it fair to start questioning whether he should stay or go as coach?

MP: If you look at his record you'd say his record's pretty decent. I mean he's been in charge for 14 games and he's got a 50% winning percentage. For me, questioning whether he needs to go isn't correct. I think he needs to be given more time and let him build for a number of years. He's got a good rapport with the guys and he's a positive coach who looks to instil a positive attitude. I enjoyed working with him.

DM: Where do you see your future with Bafana? We mean you played the full game against Mali but you were taken off in the first half against Nigeria.

MP: I think it was a tactical decision. The coach explained that to me and I knew that anyway. I struggled to get a foothold in the game. But in the future it'd still be nice to get in the squad and I'll hope to do that, you know.

DM: Thanks, Matthew. All the best as you make your return to Wits.

MP: Sure, no problem. Yes, all the guys are now returning to their teams today. Some left early because they've got games coming up in the PSL but most of us leave today. Cheers.

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