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Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama wanted Stuart Baxter to crack on with Bafana Bafana

Posted: 22 October 2018 Time: 15:00

Owen da Gama feels Stuart Baxter should have built on the Bafana Bafana team that he assembled during his brief stint as caretaker coach of the national side.

Da Gama relinquished control of Bafana to Baxter in June last year after overseeing three matches following the suspension of Ephraim Mashaba, who was later fired for publically criticising SAFA's management.

Under Da Gama, Bafana drew 1-1 with Mozambique, 0-0 with Angola, and beat Guinea Bissau 3-1 in friendlies, with the likes of exciting talents Percy Tau, Luther Singh and Phakamani Mahlambi getting game-time with him at the helm.

Baxter then started his second stint in the Bafana hotseat afterwards with an impressive 2-0 win over Nigeria in a 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier in Uyo.

Bafana are currently a point behind Group E leaders Nigeria in AFCON qualifying with two games remaining against the Super Eagles and Libya respectively.

"I called up Percy Tau [against Guinea Bissau] to the national team and Percy Tau turned out to be a revelation," Da Gama said.

"There are quite a number of players but the important thing is that these players get exposure, and they got exposure. I'm proud that they've been able to continue.

"I'm disappointed in the result obviously," added Da Gama, referring to Bafana's goalless away draw with minnows in AFCON qualifying during the last FIFA break.

"But I thought if we kept the team that beat Burkina Faso, the same team that beat Nigeria away ... and then we disassembled that team.

"I'm just disappointed with that because it was not my team, it was the national team.

"And when people start saying, 'It's Owen da Gama's team' and people start disassembling it ... I think it's wrong. Because it was not my team, it was the national team.

"We should've taken that and built stronger onto that and kept the consistency," concluded the Highlands Park coach.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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