JOHANNESBURG, November 5 – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is confident that his team will be able to get the job done in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group E match in Johannesburg on November 17.
“What makes me confident is the players I work with, desire greatly to qualify,” said Baxter.
“They know that Nigeria are a top-class team.”
Referring to past Bafana performances, Baxter said: “We have not wanted it enough and not balanced that mental element to the game.”
Baxter’s selection options have been limited due to an extensive injury list.
“It doesn’t matter if we have a lot of injuries. I would love to have some of those players in the game, but we don’t so we have got to get on with it,” said Baxter.
“I think the players will quickly understand their roles and I think they will give a [strong] performance.”
The former Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United mentor touched on the importance of concentration during the matches.
“The referee can give us a penalty in the first minute that is wrong or he can give them (Nigeria) a penalty in the first minute that is wrong.
“The game will last for 90 plus minutes which is made up of a lot of seconds and it takes one second to score a goal. We have got to have the patience, application and the focus. I believe that this squad is able to do that.”
Despite calls for his head after Bafana failed to qualify for the World Cup, Baxter was the talk of the town after Bafana beat Nigeria 2-0 away in an Afcon qualifier in June.
Then came a disappointing goalless result against Libya in their next Afcon qualifier.
Hopes went sky high after Bafana crushed Seychelles 6-0 in an Afcon qualifying match at FNB Stadium last month, only for the SA side to be held to a frustrating goalless draw against the same opposition away in Victoria three days later.
– African News Agency (ANA)