Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter wary of Botswana backlash
Posted: 21 July 2017 Time: 09:12
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has warned his charges to be careful when they face Botswana in the second leg of their 2018 CHAN qualifier taking place at Moruleng Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa hold a 2-0 advantage from the first leg in Francistown, yet Baxter knows his side cannot get complacent ahead of tomorrow’s return fixture.
“Just go back in time and say Botswana has never been an easy opponent, no matter what level we played,” he said. “In Cosafa we beat them and we also beat them now in the CHAN, and we did so because we played quite well in two games, but this won’t be an easy game.
“We are rotating our squad, we are playing in a different way, the players are going to be challenged and if we don’t get our attitude right we could tread on a landmine.”
The Bafana Bafana mentor adds that he knows Botswana will not hold back as they will be chasing the game from the onset.
“I think it’s worth challenging the players in a game where the result is not a foregone conclusion,” he said. “We are not playing against a team that has no players or a poor coach – we are playing against a team that probably has nothing to lose. My father used to say to me, ‘beware the man who has nothing to lose’.
“We are going to have to get our game right. Botswana played one game against us where they were very physical, bordering on brutal, and they played the next game against us where they were very tactical. They wanted to keep the ball for long periods and really wanted to play – we had answers in both games, so I am hoping we have an answer in this one as well.”
The winner between South Africa and Botswana will face the victors in the clash between Zambia and Swaziland in the third and final round.
The Zambians have taken a 4-0 lead from the first leg, with the third round tie scheduled for August.