Former Bafana Bafana striker Philemon Masinga has backed coach Stuart Baxter's squad that was announced on Tuesday to take on Libya on September 08 in Durban.
Ahead of their second 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier, Masinga believes Baxter has selected a formidable squad based on players who are playing regular football at club level.
“There is nothing wrong with the squad in my view because there is a mixture of youth and experience. We just need to support the team and the coach,” Masinga told Goal.
“Most of them are young and when you mention players like (Siphesihle) Ndlovu, (Lebo) Mothiba, (Teboho) Mokoena and (Percy) Tau – I am confident that they can go out there and do the job for the country,” responded the legend.
“I think Baxter is also planning for the 2022 World Cup and his starting point is the Afcon next year,” he added.
“Yes, we have the likes of (Itumeleng) Khune and (Themba) Zwane who are experienced in the squad and in their 30's or approaching that, but they are doing well at club level,” Masinga continued.
“Khune will provide leadership with his experience and Zwane or (Hlompho) Kekana have been doing well for Sundowns. So, the squad is strong in my opinion,” said Masinga.
With the exclusion of the likes of Phakamani Mahlambi and Andile Jali, the man who netted the goal which booked Bafana's spot at the 1998 Fifa World Cup finals in France, said the coach cannot have all the players he wants in the team.
“I am sure there is no coach that will want to exclude (Phakamani) Mahlambi in his squad; he is young and talented, but it's unfortunate that a coach has to look at a number of factors such a activeness at club level before making his selections,” said the former Leeds United forward.
“I also believe that these players who failed to make it, will work hard and ensure they impress the coach to be in the squad for the next match. So, it's not over for them,” urged the former St. Gallen striker.
To many Bafana supporters, Durban is not seen as a happy-hunting ground for the 1996 African champions, especially with fresh memories of losing to Cape Verde in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
However, Masinga has rubbished that mentality, saying the players and the results have nothing to do with the venue.
On the other hand, the former Jomo Cosmos striker has urged the players to ensure they take advantage of their home ground and build on their 2-0 win over Nigeria last year.
“I don't think there is some bad luck in Durban. Safa has to take the game to the people and it is not about the past results. If Durban is good for the people and this particular match, then why not?” he quizzed.
“Afcon is a big tournament and we cannot afford to miss it for the second time [in a row]. It is very important to win our games at home,” continued the legend.
“Confidence is high after beating Nigeria and we cannot become complacent now. We have to ensure that we have six points after this round,” said the 1996 Afcon winner.
“The only thing for the supporters is to go out there and rally behind the squad to ensure that we go to the tournament and allow the coach to build for the next World Cup,” he added.
“We need to support our national teams until they do well - the junior teams are also doing well and the future is bright. We just need to allow the coaches to do their work and the results will definitely come,” Masinga concluded.