Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter perplexed with pessimistic South African public

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South Africa have two crucial 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against the Lions of Teranga

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter couldn’t hide his disbelief when discussing the pessimism surrounding their ability to beat Senegal twice and go to the World Cup next year.

“Wow! We are on camp and we are going to play two very‚ very important games and you are highlighting for me that there are people who have already written us off‚" Baxter told the media.

Bafana will meet Senegal in Polokwane on Friday and then next Tuesday in Dakar, and Baxter wants the doubting thomases to get behind them.

"Are they Zimbabweans‚ Congolese or are they South Africans? Maybe they are from Senegal‚ I don’t know," he added.

“If they (the doubters) are South African‚ I would say get a grip of yourself for goodness’ sake. I’d say we have one game‚ 90 minutes and we want everybody behind us,” Baxter said.

The Lions of Teranga sit pretty on top of Group D, and are one win away from going to Russia, while Bafana lie bottom in need of two wins and nothing else to win the group.

Given the calibre of opposition, the Brit promises to take the more fancied Senegalese to the wire in both encounters.

"We will try everything in our power to try to win that game and take Senegal right to the wire. We will try to do that and that’s 90 minutes," he continued.

“And if they can’t keep themselves positive for another 90 minutes‚ then I’m sorry‚” Baxter concluded.

Meanwhile, Baxter has been dealt another blow after Hlompho Kekana withdrew on Tuesday due to a family bereavement following the passing away of his mother-in law on Monday.

According to Safa, Kekana's mother-in-law was involved in a car accident on Monday night, and she passed away on the spot. 

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Safa and the entire Bafana technical team led by Baxter, agreed to release the Sundowns skipper on Tuesday to attend to the tragedy. 

Kekana has since been replaced by his club teammate and midfield partner Tiyani Mabunda, who was part of the nullified victory against Senegal in November last year.

Bafana's preparations for the Senegal showdown were first marred by Itumeleng Khune's injury, and the withdrawal of Kekana will no doubt come as a massive blow, especially because the midfielder was in the form of his life going into the national team camp following his two strikes that earned Sundowns a 3-1 win over Orlando Pirates last week. 

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