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Page last updated at 14:14 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 15:14 UK

Dikgacoi says keep SA coach

by Ed Aarons

kagisho Dikgacoi
Kagisho Dikgacoi says coach Joel Santana should stay in the job

Fulham's Kigisho Dikgacoi says Joel Santana should be allowed to finish his contract as South Africa's coach.

His comments come at a time when coach Joel Santana has come under increased scrutiny after a poor run of results.

The Brazilian coach takes Bafana Bafana to play Norway on Saturday having lost six of their previous seven friendly matches.

"For me, Santana has done pretty well and a change now would unsettle the team," he told BBC Sport.

"Despite the results, we have been playing well and just haven't quite managed to win recently.

"I think he's done a fantastic job and we have been unfortunate not to get something out of some difficult matches."

South Africa were beaten by Germany and Republic of Ireland on their last trip to Europe in September.

Nevertheless Dikgacoi insists lessons had been learned and the team are showing signs of progress under Santana.

"I believe he is the right choice for us because our performances have been improving," he said.

The manager has been very supportive of me and that encourages me to pay him back

Kagisho Dikgacoi on his recent red card

"I know the coach is really looking forward to leading the country at the World Cup so it would be a shame if they sack him so soon before the tournament begins.

"He has a contract to be in charge and deserves the chance to see it through."

The squad will travel to Rejkavic to play Iceland on Tuesday night but it is the showdown in Oslo against his Fulham team-mates Brede Hangeland and Bjorn Helge Riise that Dikgacoi is most looking forward to.

"They are good players and it will be a good test to meet them" he added.

"We beat them in South Africa so they will want to get revenge for that."

Dikgacoi emphasised the importance of winning friendly games in order to motivate Bafana Bafana towards the World Cup.

Meanwhile the new National Executive Committee (NEC) of the South Africa Football Association held its first meeting today under new president Kirsten Nematandani.

At the meeting the NEC reaffirmed its position that the performance of Bafana Bafana is a key focus area for the football association.

The NEC has appointed former South Africa coaches Jomo Sono, Clive Barker and current SuperSport United boss Gavin Hunt to watch the next Bafana Bafana matches in order to provide the next NEC meeting with their assessment of the team.

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see also
Dikgacoi dismissal angers Hodgson
04 Oct 09 |  Fulham
Dikgacoi: "Bring back Benni"
11 Sep 09 |  African
Midfielder Dikgacoi joins Fulham
27 Aug 09 |  Fulham
Rep of Ireland 1-0 South Africa
08 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Santana satisfied as Bafana lose
06 Sep 09 |  African

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