Baxter will select mentally tough men for Libya battle
Baxter will select mentally tough men for Libya battle

Baxter will select mentally tough men for Libya battle

Bafana Bafana head coach , Stuart Baxter, has gone at length to emphasise the mettle needed for the crunch 2019 AFCON qualifier against Libya this month.

The South Africans will travel to North Africa needing a point to qualify for the 2019 AFCON tournament, while Libya will be fighting for three points to qualify.

“It’s such an important game,” he said.

“You don’t want to be experimenting too much with this one. You don’t want to be taking people that you don’t think are mentally strong and they can give a performance with a knife on their throat.

“Players that I know are easier to select than players that I don’t know. But if there’s a player who’s in a hot vein of form, there has to be space for that player.

“The majority of the squad will be the ones that I know and the ones who know what we want.

“I am fully aware of the importance of the game but not of the importance of the game to me; that’s irrelevant really,” Baxter told IOL.

“It’s important to the country and so many people, that going to a major competition would reflect in their happiness and their involvement as the tournament progresses.

“I know all the ramifications of this game.

“Even though I analyse my own work, I don’t try to rate myself. I don’t say that you would be a failure if you didn’t do this and you would be a success if you did that.

He continued: “I know that football and life isn’t like that. You’re not a success because you do one thing successfully. You’re a success because of the way that you live your life, deal with and treat other people.

“Are you humble? Are you loud and abusive? That’s the criteria you use in the bigger picture; in the smaller picture I know that people look at results in our game. I am well aware of that.

“When we didn’t qualify for the World Cup, I held myself hugely responsible.

“I didn’t make excuses and blame the players. I held myself responsible. That’s how I am. I’ve got great difficulty debriefing a game properly because I’ve got to get over my worries first,” concluded the Brit.

Due to the political unrest in Libya, the match has been confirmed to take place in the neutral venue of Tunisia on Sunday 24 March.

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