‘We won’t just park the bus’

Bafana Coach Stuart Baxter.
Bafana Coach Stuart Baxter.
Image: International friendly: South Africa v Zambia

Bafana Bafana’s date with destiny might still be four months away but coach Stuart Baxter is already thinking about how to negotiate a successful path past Libya.

Bafana only have to avoid defeat in the away final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Libyans in March to clinch a qualification berth to the Cameroon tournament.

“It’s going to be a mental issue again‚” Baxter said.

“You can excuse some other players for feeling that ‘we have to be careful‚ we only need a draw’.

“So I think the best way we can approach this game is to go there and play a normal game.

“If we play a normal game‚ there is only one team that’s scored a goal against us.

“If we do that and they don’t score then we are through.”

This crunch qualifier could be played either in Egypt or Tunisia as the Confederation of African Football does not allow the Libyans to play at home due to the unrest in their country.

Bafana could have avoided all this uncertainty had they made better use of the numerous opportunities they had during the qualifying programme.

Baxter’s charges contrived to draw with minnows Seychelles and Libya in games that could prove very costly if they come unstuck in that now crucial final qualifier.

The Super Eagles emerged as the first team to qualify in Group E with the point they earned in the 1-1 draw against Bafana at the weekend.

“So I don’t think we need to go there and play a park the bus type of a game‚” an optimistic Baxter said.

“I don’t think we need to be too gung-ho but when the opportunity arises we are going to get in their faces and make sure that they take care of our movements.

“Going there they will see a better SA team and hopefully they will see a mentally stronger SA team.”