• Baxter hails Bafana Bafana

    Bafana coach Stuart Baxter Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter

    Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter hailed the way his side performed over the two legs against Botswana in the Chan qualifiers.

    The South African side defeated the Zebras 3-0 on aggregate over two legs, 2-0 in the first leg in Francistown and 1-0 in the return leg in Rustenburg on Saturday.

    The 63-year-old says he was particularly pleased with the recent squad he formed, especially their performance during the Cosafa Cup and Chan qualifiers respectively.

    “The South African public has been a little apathetic with their view of Cosafa and Chan, and they have a right too, because we never really placed it anywhere in our programme. What we have tried to do now, is to say let’s put it somewhere where it serves South African football,” Baxter said.

    “Given the results, given the way we have approached it, I think we are on the way to maybe getting the people on board and understanding what we are trying to do with it.

    “It’s not a train smash if we were to draw 1-1 today (against Botswana), if we get all those kids on the field and give them that experience. But it is a train smash if the team that we put out is one that will not put on the national team jersey again.”

    South Africa are now set to face Zambia in the next round of the competition, and Baxter has warned his side of the threat that Zambia possess, insisting they face a ‘massive challenge’ ahead.

    “We know that Zambia did well in the U20 World Cup, we know that they have a successful squad going and we know that if we can pick the same sort of squad they (South Africa) will be a massive challenge for them, but that’s the sort of experience we want to get into their boots – you can’t buy that and you can’t get it at club level,” he added.

    “We want some of these players to go in and represent us again, but we have to look at it like the Germans who sent their young squad to the Fifa Confederations Cup.

    “I would venture to say, if they keep going (the kids that have shown their faces here) maybe very soon one of them will play an Afcon qualifier or World Cup qualifier.”

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