Baxter ready to prove critics wrong


"Upon receipt of the information, Baxter will then finalise his squad for Nigeria with his Technical Team".

New Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he was taken aback by the negativity that greeted his reappointment to the national team two weeks ago.

Baxter, who is on a five-year contract with the mandate to lead Bafana Bafana to next year's World Cup in Russian Federation, as well as to the 2022 tournament to be hosted by Qatar was pleased that there seems to be a better sense of teamwork in football than there was when he initially arrived.

"We need to be competitive and players will do it the South Africa way. I want to win games and I want to qualify this country to big tournaments", he said.

During his unveiling in Johannesburg on Monday, the 63-year-old spoke of his vision for the team while revealing his plans for undefeated Gernot Rohr's men.

"And that is the nation has good players to be competitive and I believe in my ability to coach a group of players and get the best out of them". "I'm very optimistic", he said.

Baxter, who is leaving Pretoria-based top-flight club SuperSport United to become national coach, faces five crucial fixtures between June and November.

He added: "I'm really looking forward to this latest challenge. If I wasn't ready, I would not have accepted the challenge", Baxter said.

"I'm very optimistic if we can pull together, but don't be too negative because it will affect everyone".

A little wiser and more au fait with the local game, Stuart Baxter believes his second stint as Bafana Bafana coach will bear better results than the initial one.

South Africa have become one of the great underachievers in Africa since making a spectacular return to worldwide football two decades ago.

Asked at a media conference in Soweto if he would encourage players to nutmeg opponents in the South African penalty area, he replied: "No, I would not".

"But long term, I'd love to see this country united behind a strategy and goal".