Cape Town - Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman says he would like to see coach Stuart Baxter stay on as national coach.
Baxter has copped criticism in the media in recent times, with some pundits calling for the Scot to be sacked.
Bafana were uninspiring in the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations but sneaked into the last 16 as one the best third-placed teams in their group.
They then stunned hosts Egypt 1-0 in the Round of 16, before exiting the competition after a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria in the quarter-finals.
"There are no two ways about it; Stuart is a fantastic coach. He is a top manager and I believe he doesn't get any credit in terms of the way he set us up against Egypt. All the credit went to the players, but there were a few tactical tweaks from Stuart which made us so effective," Furman told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.
"As players, we know the work he puts in and how meticulous he is in terms of his planning. He works in training to help us improve as individuals and a team. At the moment, the team is in a good place and I believe continuity is key at this point in time. If Stuart stays, I think that would be a massive boost for Bafana. He is incredibly thorough and professional and, with him at the helm, the mood in the Bafana camp is always a positive one. He is a joy to work with..."
Baxter has a testy relationship with the fourth estate and was coy in terms of his future as national coach on his return from Egypt.
But Furman was adamant who he wanted as national coach.
"From inside the camp, I can say that I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Stuart both at SuperSport United and then at senior national level. I hope he continues as Bafana coach and takes the team forward… It's disappointing to see the negativity, but that is modern society and it is part and parcel of being a professional footballer or coach."
READ Dean Furman's full Q&A interview with Sport24