Cape Town - Former Bafana Bafana head coach Clive Barker was surprised that Shakes Mashaba decided to omit Kermit Erasmus from his squad to take on Mauritania this weekend.
The Orlando Pirates striker will not travel with the squad for the African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
Barker believes the omission is down to Mashaba trying to please the public with his selections and urged him to stick to his guns rather than trying to make other people happy.
"Kermit Erasmus is a wonderful player and is a catalyst for good things. He's got the ability to make your team go up a gear. It's certainly what South Africa needs. It is strange he's not in the squad," Barker told Soccer Laduma.
"Look, I think Shakes can bring the magic back to Bafana, but I think he has tried to appease the public.
"When you appease the public, you can only die. If he goes with the tried and tested, I'm sure he can buy himself a bit more time.
"You know, when you're the coach of the national team, you're only buying time.
"It's a very tough match against Mauritania, so let's hope he does the job.
"The only way he can justify the players he has selected that play in his system is by winning.
"He is going to live and die by the sword. He has to back the players he has picked. That's the only way he'll stay in the job a bit longer," he concluded.