Baxter: Media and fans always have issues with my selections

Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says the 'media and supporters' have always had an issue with his team selections.

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After winning only one of their three Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group D matches, South Africa finished third behind Morocco and the Ivory Coast, with Namibia ending their tournament in last place.

However, after Tuesday's final round of group fixtures, South Africa qualified for the next round via the 'best of the third-placed teams' route alongside Guinea, DR Congo and Benin.

The Scotsman has come under scrutiny for not selecting Thembinkosi Lorch for any of South Africa’s matches in Egypt.

Fans took their grievances to social media urging the coach to field the 2018/19 Absa Premiership Player of Year.

Baxter and his charges will now face Egypt on Saturday, June 6 (kick-off at 21:00 SA time) at the Cairo International Stadium.

ALSO READ: Can Bafana pull off a 'Portugal' at AFCON 2019?

The 65-year-old Baxter said that as the national team coach, he is in the best position to know which players will fit each match depending on the opponents.

"Team selections are always an issue for media and supporters because that’s what opinions are for... people have different opinions," Baxter said as quoted on the official SAFA website.

"If I asked all the PSL coaches, who are very well informed, they would probably have different opinions as well. If you take the media and you take supporters as well then you’re going to get a myriad of different opinions, which is our game because that wakes discussion and debate.

"As the coach, you've got that responsibility. I’m probably the one equipped with the most information... the way the players are mentally, physically and if he suits the game plan. It is an issue for the technical staff."

Baxter added that not much will change in selecting the starting XI for Saturday's clash as they would go through the same detailed process.

READ: Vote results: Bafana not good enough!

"I think we going to do exactly the same as we’ve done," he said.

"We're going to look at the opponent see which player we think fits them badly and try and build a game plan around that.

"There’s no great time to start moving between systems but we can during the game if we have to."

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