Baxter: We will be ready

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter admits they are not quite ready for the opening Africa Cup of Nations match against Ivory Coast, but they will be come match day.

READ: Baxter - Players raised their hands

Bafana played their first preparation match against Ghana on Saturday and will take on Angola in their final friendly match before meeting the Ivorians in their first Group D match in Egypt on Monday.

Speaking after the goalless draw with the Black Stars, in which he used two different teams, Baxter admitted that they are not quite ready for the opening match yet.

“No, they are not, but they will be. That’s our first game, you know. We are going to play Angola and then with the trainings that we’ve got in between now and Ivory Coast I think we will be ready,” Baxter said.

One of the reporters in Dubai referred to South Africa as one of the favourites, but Baxter quickly played down the tag.

“This is a team in reconstruction. We have not lost in about a year-and-a-half and that’s encouraging. But to call us favourites would be ridiculous. You’ve got Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco, who will all feel they’ve got a much better chance than us. So what we need to do is keep improving, we need to make sure we play our game with confidence and we don’t show any exaggerated respect for anybody. We’ve got to believe that we’ve got a chance to win. Even though you are not favourites, it does not mean you don’t have a chance of winning.”

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