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Stuart Baxter welcomes Bafana Bafana's tough but exciting draw

00:39 GMT+3 13/04/2019
Bafana Bafana, Stuart Baxter
Bafana were handed a tough draw which includes Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco and Namibia, but the 65-year-old mentor is positive that his team will survive

Coach Stuart Baxter has admitted that South Africa is in a tough group following the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw which was conducted in Cairo on Friday night. 

Bafana Bafana are in Group D alongside neighbours Namibia and two former African champions in Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire. 

While a section of South African football fans has already written Bafana off even before the start of the tournament in June, Baxter feels his team has done well against the so-called big teams, drawing positives from what has been deemed as the group death by many.  

“It is a tough but exciting draw. We have generally done well against big teams but struggled against so-called smaller teams. If we play to our potential we should give all teams problems,” said Baxter told the Safa website after the draw. 

The 65-year-old mentor added that his team is not going to blow its own trumpet, but he assured the nation that Bafana will not be heading to Egypt to add numbers.   

“We are not going to shout from the rooftops but we are definitely not in this Group to add numbers. It is a good group with top teams and it makes it interesting for good football,” added Baxter. 

Baxter went further to say that the technical team will now sit down and prepare for the tournament now that they know their opponents. 

“We should sit down as a technical team and see how best we can prepare for this tournament,” concluded the former Kaizer Chiefs tactician. 

Bafana will definitely fancy their chances of progressing beyond the group stages given the fact that they were in the same group as Cote d'Ivoire and Namibia during the 1998 Afcon finals. 

Furthermore, they are unbeaten against Cote d'Ivoire in the last 21 years. The two countries have met three times since 1998 with South Africa registering a single win and drawing the other two matches against the Elephants.