Bafana Bafana

Baxter: Qualification is still in our hands

2018-11-05 19:34
TOUGH TIMES: Coach Stuart Baxter agrees that the team needs a sports psychologist. (Jabulani Langa)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter believes that the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria will be an interesting encounter.

MUST READ: Serero recalled to Bafana Bafana squad for Nigeria showdown

On Monday, the Scotsman announced his 23-man squad to face the Super Eagles on Saturday, November 17 at FNB Stadium.

Baxter had to re-arrange his squad due to injuries to several of his key players – the latest being England-based Kamohelo Mokotjo.

Other key players set to miss this fixture are Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Bradley Grobler, all out with long term injuries.

Bafana Bafana are expected to assemble for camp on Sunday, November 11 in Johannesburg.

"It has really been a tough task to select the team to face Nigeria without some of our regular players, but we have to soldier on," said Baxter as quoted by the official SAFA website

"These injuries could not have come at the worst of times when we really need to collect all three points because we are well aware the importance of doing this.

"The positive side, however, is that this gives us a chance to introduce other players into the squad, and these are players we have been monitoring, so it not like a knee-jerk reaction.

"This helps us to ensure that when we qualify for the tournament we have an even bigger pool of players to choose from. I am also confident that the players brought in will do a good job."

ALSO READ: Baxter to be sacked if Bafana fail to qualify for AFCON 2019

Bafana Bafana and the Super Eagles clash at a time when the two have swapped positions at the top.

Nigeria lead Group E with 9 points, just one ahead of South Africa – who are yet to concede or lose a match in the qualifiers.

"I must admit this makes the upcoming clash all the more interesting," Baxter continued.

"Remember we beat them 2-0 in the first leg in their backyard, so they will come here trying to avenge that, on the other hand we want to regain the top spot which we relinquished with the draw away to Seychelles.

"The good thing is that qualification is still in our hands," added Baxter.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

 

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