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Stuart Baxter: Bafana must play to strengths against Burkina Faso in World Cup qualifier

Posted: 6 October 2017 Time: 16:00

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has encouraged his players to play to their strengths, and believes not much can be drawn from last year's away leg draw against Burkina Faso.

South Africa are set to face The Stallions in the second leg of a 2018 World Cup Group D qualifier at FNB Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 15h00).

With the hosts having everything to play for, as they sit bottom of the group with just one point from three games, Baxter hopes his troops can energise their attacking play, as he hints at a few changes to the line-up.

"One of the things I've enforced on this camp is, after the Cape Verde game I was really disappointed with the lack of challenge that we threw down to them," said Baxter at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

"Everyone talks about our skill, our speed and our playing, but I don't think I remember us challenging them positively, [with] one-v-ones or making penetrative runs that we speak about all the time.

"One of the things we've spoken about [this week] is if we have that skill then we have to challenge them – challenge them with our pace, movement and make sure we're brave enough to take that responsibility.

"So there's some reinforcing that we need to do, and maybe there'll be a couple of [new] faces that we believe can do a little bit better."

Having drawn the previous meeting 1-1 in Ouagadougou almost exactly a year ago while still under the guidance of Shakes Mashaba, the British tactician feels not much can be taken from that encounter as much has changed.

"The team has changed, the situation has changed and I think even Burkina Faso have changed slightly. I think anything we get out of the game now, will be just that," he explained.

"There's some big picture that you can take – the sort of style they play and certain characteristics they have, and you can take what you usually get out of a South African side, of course.

"But the detail will have changed massively from both camps, because it's the away game and not a home game for them. And for us it's a different nature now than it would have been, had the [last few] results gone differently.

"There's different players too, so the big picture you can take but the detail will have changed."

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
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