Bafana coach Stuart Baxter cautions against underestimating Cape Verde
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has cautioned against complacency heading into Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde.
Cape Verde are viewed as the whipping boys in Group D — they are yet to win a game in the qualifiers — and Baxter said Bafana cannot afford to underestimate their 114th-ranked hosts.
‘‘My father said to me ’Always beware the man that has nothing to lose’. So they have got nothing to lose‚” Baxter said on Monday..
‘‘I think we have got to go there with the same attitude. They can play the way they want.
‘‘If we play well then I think we have got a chance of getting a good result. So we’ve got to make sure that our mentality is tight.
‘‘We want to be a team‚ we want to make sure that everybody puts in 100 percent.
‘‘We want to be able to express ourselves in the right way‚ have that feeling of no regrets and no anxiety.
‘‘We are just looking forward to the game and quieten down all the other chit-chat that may have made us complacent‚ that may have made us nervous. Quieten that down and just get to the place.”
Baxter has had to deal with injuries to key personnel and he revealed that midfielder Thulani Serero is nursing a hamstring complaint.
The Briton said he could rest Serero and then play him in the return World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 5.
Supersport United’s Clayton Daniels has been called up to replace the injured Rivaldo Coetzee.
Explaining the thinking behind Daniels’ selection‚ the Briton said he needed someone who can hit the ground running in Cape Verde and didn’t have the luxury of experimenting.
The two worked together at United and Baxter said he knows exactly what Daniels will bring to the table.
Bafana are second in World Cup qualifying group D after two matches‚ level on four points with Burkina Faso‚ who only lead on goal difference.
Bafana depart for Cape Verde on Tuesday morning.