Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs head coach, Stuart Baxter, says that, while some questioned SAFA when they appointed Shakes Mashaba, his appointment was just what Bafana Bafana needed.
According to the soccerladuma website, Mashaba has overseen a turnaround in fortunes for the South African national team since being appointed earlier this year, securing a place in the 2015 African Cup of Nations with an unbeaten record, and conceding just three goals along the way.
Baxter, a previous Bafana coach himself, says that Mashaba’s success is more than just the results, but about getting the nation to depart from the previous mentality.
Speaking to the Siya crew, the Amakhosi head coach said, “In the beginning people questioned the process of hiring Shakes because it was departing from the traditional way, but to be honest I think that that was what was needed because the old process was taking us nowhere. That continuous thought process of ‘We have to win this next game’ meant that there was no developmental thinking and nothing was changing.
“Only a crazy man would go in there and aim for development in South African football knowing that he may not make to the next year if he doesn’t win his next game. Shakes now has people’s buy-in. We came to a watershed moment and people bought in to what he’s trying to do. People are now giving him more time and are being more patient.”
Baxter went on to say that, regardless of what happens in Bafana’s next few games, people need to remain confident in Mashaba rather than calling for his head the minute there’s a bad result.
He said, “We have to make sure that we’re doing this for the right reasons. As I said earlier, if Bafana had drawn 2-2 to Sudan rather than winning, would people have still responded the same? I’d love to think that people aren’t so shortsighted that, had it been a 2-2 draw, they wouldn’t have slated him.
“I think Shakes’ success is not only about the results. It’s also about the fact that we’ve departed from the train of thought where the next game was the be-all and end-all. Obviously we want to win the games, but we also now have one eye on development, something that is being passed onto the clubs.”
Baxter will lead his charges against Orlando Pirates this afternoon in the Soweto Derby.