Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says they will take each challenge as it comes in World Cup qualifying ahead of Cape Verde rematch
Posted: 5 September 2017 Time: 08:01
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he is not thinking about how many points they need to qualify for next year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia.
Bafana resumed their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-1 loss to Cape Verde in Praia on Friday, while Burkina Faso held the more fancied Senegal to a goalless draw in Dakar on Saturday in the other group game. That result kept the race for qualification wide open.
Bafana will host host Cape Verde at Moses Mabhida Stadium tonight (19h00), desperate to pick up maximum points on home soil.
"I've got no idea to be honest with you [of how many points are needed]. Football is so strange and you can do your mathematical estimation and then you don't need that, and you do need that and then you don't and then you do. You drive yourselves a little bit crazy," said Baxter, whose side had its first training session in Durban on Monday after a 16-hour trip from Praia.
"I'm not one of those coaches that starts working out before the fact. I'm too experienced to start taking things for granted or saying 'that'll never happen and this is do or die, this is the end of the road and if we get three points we are certainly through'.
"All of that just teaches you to make sure to take each challenge as it comes. So I don't count the points in advance because that team would need to get three points there and you don't get the three points but you go away from home and beat the team that is the favourites easily."
Baxter is focusing on getting the mentality of his players right.
"The most difficult thing for me is continuity and to make sure that everybody is on the same page," he said.
"The fact that we haven't qualified for a very long time brings the element of anxiety, because on the one hand the squad is desperate to give the supporters what they want, hoping they don't fail. On the other hand, there's this prize that is the World Cup and they are desperately trying to get there."