Stuart Baxter has praised his troops’ display against Seychelles as South Africa earned a resounding 6-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
An own goal, along with strikes by Thulani Hlatshwayo, Lebo Mothiba, Percy Tau, Dino Ndlovu and Teboho Mokoena saw Bafana move to the top of Group E, giving their hopes of a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations berth a massive boost.
It was a completely dominant display by Bafana who put Seychelles to the sword as they capitalised on their leaky defence.
Nonetheless, speaking after the game, Bafana’s British-born tactician was delighted with his team’s performance at a cold and wet FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
“Yeah, it was a very good win,” the 65-year-old mentor told members of the media.
“We can get carried away with six goals and say it was a good win because we scored six goals. But I think that will be taking a lot away from the performance of players,” he added.
“To start with coming up against the ‘underestimation factor’ which has not been our strong suit, we have been working very hard this week to try and negate that. And you score three goals in the first half in poor weather, playing some really good football, you got to go out in the second half," he commented.
“When it is half time, it is very easy for the players to relax and it becomes a 3-1 because they get an offside or a penalty,” he said.
“So, I think the way the players played, they should be congratulated maybe more than the fact that they got six goals. They played very well. They were disciplined, they stuck to a game plan and structure, and the players who went on they knew exactly what they needed to do,” Baxter praised.
“I just thought that the players did a fantastic job. Yes, it was a great win, I think we should say that it was a great win for the right reasons,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Tau was guilty of squandering a number of opportunities in the first half which saw fans get on his back, although he would eventually get his name onto the scoresheet in the second half.
“I have to say I don’t think Percy was complacent. Maybe the one that he missed, he disappointed himself,” Baxter explained.
However, the former Kaizer Chiefs mentor is adamant that he will not focus on any of the negative after their success.
“But I won’t focus at all (on mistakes). They won’t see one mistake that was made today. Because I think their overall performance, I think we should want more of that,” Baxter remarked.
“I just think that when South Africans play in a structured enough way, where they can move the ball and use their speed and imagination, we have potential in this country,” he said.
“I won’t be showing the negative stuff, I will be showing the good stuff and want more of that,” he expressed.