Bafana coach Stuart Baxter drawing on Roy Hodgson advice
Posted: 4 October 2017 Time: 10:15
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is drawing on advice received from former England manager Roy Hodgson.
Baxter’s head coaching position came under scrutiny following two defeats in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign to Cape Verde last month.
Baxter received a supportive sms shortly after from Crystal Palace boss Hodgson.
“I got a very nice text from Roy Hodgson,” said Baxter. “I was sitting and eating lunch, and a text came through, and he said – I don’t know if I’m paraphrasing this one, but he said something like – 'you and I have got very difficult challenges in front of us'.
“He said, ‘When it’s like this, coaches have to be in a bubble. You have to take away all the things that are not important and you have to concentrate on the things that will keep you alive, and keep your team alive.’
“That’s true. I can b***h about all the things that are going on around me, this and that, this one didn’t write this right, you overstated that one, and the players…
"We can do all that, but the important thing is exactly what Roy said – you put yourself in that bubble, you identify what can win us this game and go for it, and there’s no excuses…
“There’s no, 'Ah, but hang on a second, if I was worried about the Burkina Faso appeal going through, and then…
"Not in my world, it can’t be. I think I’ve got to live in that bubble and make sure that everything in that world is important, because everything else is our of my control.”
Bafana face Group D leaders Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium on Saturday before completing their World Cup qualifying campaign with back-to-back fixtures against Senegal in November.
South Africa are bottom of the pool with one point from three games, trailing the Burkinabe by five points.