South Africa coach, Stuart Baxter, has disclosed his side’s game plan against Nigeria ahead of both teams’ 2019 Africa Cup of Nation, AFCON, quarter-final fixture on Wednesday at the Cairo International Stadium.
He also reacted to a statement by Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr that the Bafana Bafana are favourites to win this year’s AFCON after defeating the host nation, Egypt last weekend.
Reports has it that Rohr, in his pre-match press conference identified South Africa national team as the favourite to win the 2019 AFCON.
”They (South Africa) were the better team against Egypt so when you’re a better team than Egypt, you are becoming the favourite of the tournament because everybody said before its Egypt the favourite number one.
”They beat Egypt in Egypt so they are now the favourite number one. We are not the favourite against South Africa (because) they beat them (Egypt) in Cairo in International Stadium (in front of) seventy-five thousand people. You must be very strong to do that.”
Reacting, Baxter was quoted by SAFA.net as saying ahead of South Africa’s clash with Nigeria tonight: “I don’t think Rohr is fooling anybody.
“Not at all. I think the Nigerians are absolutely one of the best teams on the continent. They have been for a long time.
“They have been a powerhouse of African football for a long time. And one game doesn’t make us favourites.
“I think Gernot would love to have that tag as underdogs‚ and in that way, slip the pressure from you guys (Nigeria). But I don’t think he’s fooling anybody, to tell you the truth.
“No‚ we’ll go into the game as we do every game. When we hit that balance between good organisation and still getting the ball in play and playing with pace‚ and closing people down at pace‚ and using the natural inherent ability and technique‚ we can give anybody on this continent a good game.
“Therefore, we go into every game knowing that we have the chance to win and the chance to lose. And that is how we’ll approach this game. And we’ll absolutely not think that we’re the favourites.”