Bafana Bafana

Baxter not taking COSAFA Cup lightly

2018-05-30 13:13
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter. (Trevor Kunene)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter believes that after watching some of the matches in the 2018 COSAFA Cup, they will have to prepare for a very tough battle.

The South Africans have been in camp since Saturday, May 26 to prepare for the competition, which is currently underway in Polokwane.

The hosts will not be in action at the tournament until the quarter-finals which starts on Sunday, 3 June. Bafana will face the winners of Group A following a bye in the first round.

Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Seychelles are in Group A, while Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi make up Group B.

“The pressure to get the result is the same, whenever the national team gets together everyone expects you to win,” said Baxter as quoted by SAFA website.

“The week together gives us a little bit of time before the start of the tournament. Getting these players together and to have seven days on top for preparations, is already a victory - if they can kick on now and gel a little bit, it could be a good tournament for us for a change.”

Despite not knowing their opposition, the Bafana Bafana mentor is preparing for a tough battle ahead.

“The games have been very interesting, and some of them very physical, something that we saw when we played the COSAFA Cup last time. It seems people wind up for this sort of games and they don’t take them lightly,” said Baxter.

“I was surprised by the Mozambique vs Madagascar clash – I thought the former would be a little bit better (Madagascar won 1-0), and in the Seychelles vs Comoros encounter, the latter was better than what people expected, but we will watch again to see who we will face in the quarter-final.

“In that group, no matter who we play, it is going to be a tough game and very hectic, so we have to make sure that we are prepared for that.”

South Africa and the winners of Group A will lock horns on Sunday, June 3.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

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