Benni McCarthy says Stuart Baxter should have been bolder when selecting Bafana squad

16 March 2019 - 13:53 By Nick Said
Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy. File photo.
Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy. File photo.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy believes Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter should have been bolder in his selections for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya next Sunday‚ and picked players that are on form for their clubs.

Bafana need only a draw in the fixture that will be staged in neutral Sfax‚ Tunisia‚ but McCarthy believes the team will be playing a dangerous game if they go to North Africa looking for a point.

The Cape Town City coach‚ who is also Bafana’s record goal-scorer‚ says calculated risks and a positive attitude is what the team needs.

“If I was the national team coach‚ which I am not‚ we would have had a team that is more risky‚” McCarthy says.

“We have got everything to gain‚ we can’t go there and sit. I would have taken players that are in the best form at their clubs. Not players who are going out there to look to play for a draw.

“It’s two different styles. I think Stuart’s experience … he picked the best for what he knows. I would have played for something else‚ but that is why I am Cape Town City coach and not Bafana coach.”

McCarthy was not pleased with comments made by Baxter earlier in the week in which the Bafana coach suggested that in-form striker Kermit Erasmus would need to start if he was selected for the game‚ and would not handle being a squad player in the group.

“Baxter goes and says that Kermit is not a team player‚ I completely disagree with him‚” he told reporters.

“It’s a bit frustrating when you see these things happening. I had a conversation with him and told him that Kermit is 95 percent ready.

“When he didn’t qualify then we know why. It is because we don’t select players based on merit here. Kermit deserves to be in the Bafana squad‚ but for some reason he is not.”

City right-back Thami Mkhize was selected for the Libya squad‚ but he limped out of Friday’s 0-0 home draw with Polokwane City and will need to be assessed.

Wingers Gift Links and Riyaad Norodien are two other players who have been in good form for the Cape Town club‚ along with centre-back Taariq Fielies.