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Milutin Sredojevic: Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter must be respected

09:59 EAT 09/10/2018
Milutin Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates
The former Cranes national team boss has urged the country respect Baxter regarding the players he selects for Bafana Bafana

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says Bafana Bafana mentor Stuart Baxter has all the right and freedom to choose players of his choice for the national team.

The former Uganda national team mentor says he is aware of the pressure that comes with managing a national side, but says as Premier Soccer League (PSL) coaches, they must give the players a chance at club level so that they can be noticed.

“Baxter must be respected. He must not be told by the whole country regarding player selection on who to choose or leave out,” Sredojevic said as quoted by Isolezwe.

The Serbian coach has seen his players such as Xola Mlambo being overlooked by the English coach for a role in the middle of the park despite delivering some stellar displays for the Sea Robbers.

Baxter called up Vincent Pule and Innocent Maela from the Soweto giants, but could be forced to replace the former Bidvest Wits winger as he is currently nursing an injury.

“I was a national team coach before and I know the pressure from 40 million people that will tell you who to call-up and leave out of the national team,” he added.

“I respect Baxter too much and it is his opinion or discretion to choose the players in his team. We cannot force things, but we must respect him,” said the Serbian mentor.

“Our job as PSL coaches is to ensure the players are given a fair opportunity and also put them in a level where they can be noticed by the national team coach because that is where our powers or responsibility is at. Pointing fingers or playing a blame game won't help anyone,” he concluded.

In addition, Baxter's men assembled on Sunday as they prepare to face Seychelles in back-to-back 2019 Caf African Cup of Nations qualifying matches.

The first match will be staged at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, October 13 and the second encounter will be held at Stade Linite three days later.

In their quest to qualify for the continetal tournament in Cameroon next year, Bafana currently have four points in Group E with a single win and a draw to their name after two matches.