Africa Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Baxter not ready to quit ahead of clash with Nigeria

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter during the pre-match press on the eve of his team’s meeting against Nigeria / Backpagepix

Remember the saying the ‘winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win’? the same sentiments South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter will be coming with for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal clash against Nigeria.

Baxter who hopes to land South Africa’s first Nations Cup since 1996 when they hosted wants to see his side go with a determined fierce mind into the game under the floodlights of Cairo International Stadium.

“This is special now, you’re getting to the sharp end of the stick and it’s people that think like winners who will end up winning to the tournament,” Baxter said in the pre-match press conference.

“Nigeria are absolutely one of the best teams on the continent and have been for a long time. One game doesn’t make us favourites.”

“When we hit a balance between a good organisation and getting on the ball and playing with pace and using our natural inherent technique we can give anybody a game.

To get to this stage Nigeria who were making a comeback to the tournament after missing the last two editions defeated defending champions Cameroon 3-2 in Alexandria.

On the same day, in front of 75,000 spectators at Cairo International Stadium, South Africa defeated hosts Egypt 1-0.

“The players were inspired by the crowd the other evening, but I hope they don’t need that sort of crowd to find that sort of inspiration.”

“I think we know we’ve got a tough opponent. I think we know we’ve got to be completely focused and I think we understand that it is going to take all the mental energy we can muster and not be dependent on getting up because the crowd is up.” Baxter noted.

Both teams will be eyeing semi-final slot, South Africa last played at that stage in 2000 whole Nigeria in 2013 where they lifted the title at the former’s backyard.

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