Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
7 Jun 2018
10:43 am

Bafana players need mental strength – Baxter

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Stuart Baxter says there is still a lot of work that needs to be done with the Bafana players in terms of mental strength.

Stuart Baxter, coach of South Africa (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Despite getting knocked out in the Cosafa Cup quarterfinals by Madagascar last Sunday, Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter was content with the response of his players following their 4-1 win over Namibia in the plate semifinal at old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday, but revealed that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done with the players in terms of mental strength and keeping structure of the team.

READ: Baxter looking to the UK for more Bafana options

“South African players have certain skills sets and certain mental skills, we lack a little bit of stillness to keep the structure and pick our way through (opponents). We like to be inventive and we love to be creative, but we lack that structure you need to be able to pick your way through I think we need to work very hard on getting it,” said the Bafana coach.

“When we decided to take young players to Zambia for the four-nations tournament, we gave nine debuts and won the tournament. Let’s not take a pat on the back because we won the tournament, let’s take it because we made that decision (to select a young squad). And now I will say the same thing, this is a good game for us because young players got international experience against good teams and they did a good job, that is the biggest positive.”

With the win against Namibia, Bafana will now face off with Botswana in the plate final at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium tomorrow.

Going into this game, Baxter adds that as much as he wants everybody in the squad to get game time, the important thing is winning the final.

“We want to everybody to play if we can, especially the young ones whom we think need international experience. That’s why we put Lyle Forster in the last 10 to 15 minutes. But does that mean we want to sell the game? Not really, we want to win the game. It’s a final.”

READ: South Africa to face Botswana in Cosafa Cup Plate final