• My mandate was never to qualify for World Cup – Baxter

    Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter

    In the aftermath of their failure to qualify for the World Cup, Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has revealed that he wasn’t mandated to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

    South Africa slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Senegal, ending their chances of securing a spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Baxter suggested that he would play non-regulars in the dead-rubber return leg of the encounter, in addition to revealing that he wasn’t mandated to qualify for global spectacle by employer Safa.

    “I want to look at the log first and see. Do we have a chance to be better than we are? If that’s the case we’ll play our strong side and try to win the game. I don’t think we had a lack of effort from the players.

    “I may give a chance to a few lads who work very hard and haven’t had a game [time]. It’s a dead rubber. It’s about pride for the shirt and pride for the results of the country. So we will go and do the best we can,” he added.

    “My mandate was never about ‘qualify for the world cup or you go home’. I wanna make sure that we’re making progress.

    “I’ve seen some of the performances that we need to move more quickly. We need to make progress. We need to have everyone’s backing in the country, including Safa, and that’s the only way we’ll get better.

    “Maybe I’m blue-eyed, but I don’t think this team [Senegal] or Nigeria are better than us. They may have the big names, but with the right sort of application we can certainly move forward,” he concluded.

    Photo: Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

    -This story originally appeared on SportsClub.co.za

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