Team will remain grounded ahead of clash
“I don’t think there’s a single soul in our squad who wants to let our country down.”
This was Cole Alexander’s response when asked how the senior national side were feeling leading up to the second round, second leg tie. Alexander is currently in camp with a Bafana Bafana squad that will take on Botswana in tomorrow’s 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier out at the Moruleng Stadium (the match kicks off at 3pm)
South Africa beat Botswana 2-0 in an away clash last weekend, a result which saw them putting a foot in the third and final round of the qualifiers.
The SuperSport United midfielder, who featured twice for the senior national side against Botswana in a space of 10 days, said it was crucial that they stepped it up a notch in this clash, as they cannot afford to risk a defeat against the Zebras.
Stuart Baxter’s charges knocked Botswana out of the Cosafa Plate semi-final in the Cosafa Cup tournament two weeks ago, before travelling to Francistown to come back with yet another 2-0 result again in a Chan match.
“We played really well away from home,” Alexander said. “Our structure was very good and we were solid throughout the match. But having said that, I still believe that there’s still a whole lot of improvement we really need to work on.
“We also need to remain grounded and give it our best in (tomorrow’s) home game.
“In my opinion,” Alexander added. “We were more disciplined in our Chan first leg compared to our Cosafa match against them. We worked more as unit this time around and we were much more tactically sound in that game.
“And this is all thanks to coach Baxter. He’s a great coach and a good motivator. Everybody just wants to do well under him.
“The spirit in the camp is very high. We are all focused, though everybody is enjoying themselves in every training session. But we know that it’s of utmost importance that we get the required result in order for us to go through, and we are all looking forward to the match.”
Bafana will be without SuperSport’s rising star Teboho Mokoena in this tie, as the 20-year old was recalled by his club for pre-season training which started yesterday, while Michael Morton was roped in as a quick replacement.
Baxter stated that he would continue mixing experienced players with the younger ones, as his primary objective is to make sure that he gives younger players as much international experience as possible.
“We made a commitment of mixing experienced players with inexperienced ones in this tournament,” Baxter said.
“Cosafa went OK with the younger squad we had there compared to the one we currently have now.”