Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has
played down the significance of his past continental failures ahead of South
Africa's clash against Libya on Saturday in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
Baxter failed to guide Kaizer Chiefs to the
group stages of the CAF Champions League during his three-year stint at the
club despite picking up league titles in 2013 and 2015.
He fared better with SuperSport United,
leading them to the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup group stage before taking on the
However, he received criticism for his team
selection in continental matches.
Baxter previously claimed that the decision
to use fringe players during his time at Kaizer Chiefs was not his, but he has
now nevertheless admitted that conquering Africa is not his biggest ambition -
even as Bafana coach.
“I'd love to say that the driving force is
that I want success on the continent, but it's not really true," Baxter
told New Frame.
“The driving force for me is to develop the
game with South Africa. The driving force is to develop a team that will do
well on the continent.
“Personally, I don't feel that I need to
prove anything in that respect. I've been successful in every other avenue that
I have taken on.
“Even if I was to qualify for the AFCON, I
don't feel that personally would give me more kudos than before.”
The 65-year-old has presided over failed
attempts to qualify for the 2006 and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments but having
claimed victory over Nigeria in their opening AFCON qualifying group game,
South Africa will be in a promising position to progress should they see of
Libya at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15:00.