14 October 2018 –Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said he would want the team to keep up the focus and maintain discipline when they take on Seychelles on Tuesday, three days after demolishing the same opponents.
“I want to see that type of passion when we go there, we are not thinking of the past result; that is gone and this is a new game altogether,” Baxter told the media after the game.
Bafana Bafana leave for the Indian Ocean island on Sunday and play their opponents at Stade Linte on Tuesday at 15h30 SA time and another win would cement Bafana Bafana’s top spot.
South Africa currently sit top of the Group with seven points from three games followed by Nigeria with six points and Libya with four. Seychelles are still to register a point.
Baxter said he goes to Seychelles with lots of positives from what he saw from Saturday’s performances by his charges.
“We had a good win but we should not be carried away. There was a new wave, the swagger from all the players; although one swallow doesn’t make a summer, the young players really showed lots of promise and that’s encouraging all round,” he said. “The players did a fantastic job.”
He said he has emphasised to his players over and over again that when you take football as a career the pinnacle of all this is one representing own country at major tournaments and that at times, failure to do so are because of results against smaller teams ‘that can derail you’.
“We are aware what Seychelles are capable of; they created two big chances against Nigeria and they would think they have a chance if they sit back in the opening minutes and frustrate us; we need to guard against that.”
The Bafana Bafana mentor said one thing which really satisfied him was the type of discipline and how the substitutes stuck to instructions.
He said scoring goals was great considering goal difference might become a factor at the end of group matches.
“We want more of that, more of that passion, discipline and professionalism. How the players played (on Saturday) was a structured South African way; the moving of the ball and everything,” he said.
“In certain areas we have really potential and if we hit and play more of that, we can play good football and I want more of that.”
He also praised assistant coach Shaun Bartlett, a renowned striker during his playing days saying the former Charlton Athletic target man had an influence on how Bafana Bafana strikers responded against Seychelles on Saturday.
“Shaun had a conversation with all strikers in terms of their finishing and when a top striker like Shaun gives you ideas and that helps.
“Lebo Mothiba led the lines with his bullish play; the Alan Shearer type of player. He bullied centre-backs and had no moments of peace. I was pleased with Lebo, his general attitude and work rate,” said the Bafana mentor.
The coach said he would not put anyone under undue pressure and think of wrapping up qualification for AFCON as soon as possible.
“I don’t want to think too much ahead, if we wrap it quickly (qualification for AFCON) the better but I don’t want to go too much ahead. Even if it’s up to the last game, it is still nice.”