Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter returned from Bafana Bafana’s defeat against Senegal in Dakar in defiant mood saying: “I don’t need to stay here. I can get another job.”
Baxter appeared to allow his emotions to overrun on Bafana’s return to OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday from Bafana’s 2-1 defeat in Dakar‚ as he was involved in a heated exchange with journalists who showed up.
Baxter took exception to being asked if he would step down after the coach’s disastrous four defeats from five World Cup qualifiers had cost Bafana Russia 2018 qualification.
The coach said he had been in the job for too short a period to be judged yet.
He said Bafana had good performances in his tenure‚ such as Baxter’s opening 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations win against Nigeria‚ World Cup win against Burkina Faso‚ and even the 2-0 defeat against Senegal in Polokwane and 2-1 loss in Dakar on Tuesday night.
“The two games I’m really disappointed with are the Cape Verde games‚” an emotional‚ angered Baxter did admit‚ in reference to the crippling back-to-back World Cup defeats in September.
“But when you ask me questions about‚ ‘Do you think you’re the right man’‚ you’re basing that on four games [defeats].
“I’m saying that if there’s a bigger picture on the South African horizon‚ then people will see‚ the same as El Hadji Diouf did‚ that‚ ‘I’m looking at the way you [Bafana] are playing‚ and you played better than us’.
“So there’s my answer to you. If I think at any time that I’m not the right man to develop South African football‚ I will walk away. I don’t need to stay here. I can get another job.”
Baxter said that former Liverpool and Senegal striker Diouf had gone to Bafana’s team hotel in Dakar to praise Bafana’s football against the Lions of Teranga and urge Baxter to continue.