Baxter Worried About His Struggling Bafana

Staff Writer | The Republic Mail

By MJ Majuru 

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said while he was disappointed with the 1-0 loss to Tanzania in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup, it was nevertheless a much-needed exercise to get some information on his players.

Following a Tanzania goal early in the first half, South Africa could not recover from the setback and eventually surrendered the title they won in 2016.

“Results are very important, you never give away a result, you always want to win. I am really disappointed in the result but more disappointed that no one really raised their hand. I think the only player to do so was Riyaad Norodien. I think he did well,” said Baxter.

“Every defeat is a setback. This is a disappointing result but if you see the bigger picture you have to look at it and say ‘is this a devastating blow or disappointing evening?’ I would say it was a disappointing evening because you always play to win.”

Bafana Bafana will now face Botswana in the plate playoff match scheduled for the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday, 4 July 2017. Kick-off is at 5pm.

For the Tanzania clash, Baxter picked eight uncapped players in the starting line-up, and added a further two in the game.

He expects to make some changes for the Botswana encounter.

“Since we can’t win the tournament we will have to go all out for development. With due respect to the organisers, there’s nothing to be won. The biggest thing we can take from the remaining games, is that we give a couple of youngsters a chance, so we will rotate the squad fiercely,” added the Bafana Bafana mentor.

Baxter says a lot of composure is also needed as they assess the process.

“Again, looking at games like these, you have to keep a little bit of discipline and composure, and not in your disappointment rush out and say let’s bring back Shabba, push in Yeye, or get those players that are in South Africa but will not give us anything in the long term,” said Baxter.

“So you have to keep your composure, you have to make sure that you don’t think that you have lost. You have to see it as having won or learnt, hopefully we will learn something from this loss. It’s very disappointing, and there’s no one more disappointed than me, but it’s up to everybody to get some perspective on this. We have to look at it and ask ourselves, ‘which of the youngsters could handle it?’ And that has to be the same with the upcoming Chan qualifiers.”

Bafana Bafana will have a light training session on Monday to prepare for the Botswana clash.