15 November 2017 – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has reflected on a FIFA World Cup campaign which ended with a 2-1 away defeat to Senegal on Tuesday night.
The Bafana Bafana coach admitted the FIFA World Cup qualifiers was a difficult campaign adding it is not easy to come in and impose your philosophy there and then and put across your ideas. This is something which is a process and takes time.
“The replay against Senegal, a match South Africa had won, didn’t help for the mental part of the game. However, looking back, I think our biggest shortcoming, which has been the country’s perennial problem, has been scoring goals.”
“We need to understand what win games; it is something I have been trying to put across to the players as part of my philosophy,” said Baxter.
The coach however said in trying to inculcate the winning mentality, it was important not to compromise the South African tradition of doing things.
“We need to maintain our philosophy and that is flamboyance and attacking football.”
Baxter said while results at most times were disappointing, Bafana Bafana showed if the team gets the balance right between efficiency and flamboyance, they can mix with the best there is.
“But we are not consistent enough; we need to produce that type of football on regular basis to stay on top.”
He said most of that was caused by lack of scoring prowess but was something he would work on although results cannot be achieved overnight.
“We need to challenge for top slots. We have shown it against top opposition; we have dominated them for long periods with some good football but failed to finish them off.
“What we need is to be more professional and continue to develop our own type of football that reflects the culture of South Africa,” said Baxter.
The coach said he would like to thank South African supporters whose love for the national team was unquestionable.
“They (fans) play an important role in the development of the game and we hope they continue to be part of this process. They are the most important stakeholder of the game.”