Khune out, but 'no worries'

07 November 2017 - 07:06 By By TIYANI WA KA MABASA
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Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter.
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he is not losing sleep over the possibility that Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune could miss the match against Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday. Kickoff is at 7pm.

Bafana No1 Khune fractured a bone in the face after colliding with Kurt Lentjies of Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals on Sunday. Chiefs won 1-0.

Khune will see a specialist on Tuesday morning to determine the extent of the injury.

Baxter insisted during the media briefing on Mondaythat he can work around Khune's absence, even though the last time he missed two matches against Cape Verde due to injury, Bafana lost both encounters 2-1 home and away, results which put the national team in the back foot as the bottom side on Group D.

"I'll be honest; I don't think in terms of that. You've got to believe in your players," said Baxter, who has two keepers, Ronwen Williams and Wayne Sandilands, in camp.

Sandilands and Williams played a match each against minnows Cape Verde, before Khune returned in the 3-1 victory over Burkina Faso on October 7.

Baxter continued: "The players also got to believe in themselves. If we keep worrying about what's happened in the past, I mean a lot of things happened in the past in this country and if we constantly dragged it to our necks, we will struggle and that's the same on the football field. Whoever plays is picked because he can do the job."

Meanwhile, he couldn't hide his frustration at the fact that five overseas-based players are yet to report for camp.

Andile Jali, Dino Ndlovu, Keagan Dolly, Lebogang Manyama, and Thulani Serero have either had their flights delayed or cancelled. Bongani Zungu is in camp even though he will miss Friday's clash because of suspension.

Baxter said he hopes there could be a solution to the challenge of players' unavailability.

"I think this is probably normal and you get used to it, but for me I always like things to be smoother than this," the Englishman said.

"We have to get players in from Europe as quickly as possible and until I get everyone in camp, it's difficult to be comfortable."

Bafana had a training session yesterday at the venue. In total, there were 16 players.

Kaizer Chiefs duo Siphiwe Tshabalala and Eric Mathoho are expected in camp on Tuesday.

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