Baxter: Why Bafana Bafana win more friendlies than competitive matches

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The 63-year-old mentor has taken time from his busy schedule and keep tabs on the ongoing Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter wants to create the same pool of young players for the side as Germany and Chile are doing in the Confederations Cup by introducing a lot of young players.

“What I found interesting is how the coaches in the Confederations Cup use the tournament to introduce some new and younger players in their respective squads,” Baxter told IOL.

The Briton has been very impressed with how Germany have been able to introduce unknown players at the tournament.

As such, Baxter wants to use friendly matches to assess new players and try out new combinations than treat them as must-win affairs as many of his predecessors have done in the past.

“Like in that German squad, there were about four of five players that I’ve never heard of before, and if we were to talk about our development program as a national team, we should stop playing our best team against national sides who are experimenting with new combinations in their respective squads,” Baxter said.

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Baxter’s arrival seems to have brought a wind of change for the national team and he will be put to test in the upcoming Cosafa Cup.

“That’s why we end up winning those friendly matches but struggle in key matches or tournaments. We need to start using our friendly matches to deepen our pool of our selection so that when it comes to a game like Burkina Faso (a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier), we’ve got five or six extra players,” Baxter said.

“Brazil have done the same, Argentina have done the same. Chile had Alex Sanchez on the bench. It’s an interesting development path that I truly believe we should really look at,” Baxter added.

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