Head coach of the South African national team, Stuart Baxter, has mapped out plans to frustrate Super Eagles’ free-flowing attacking football with a strange style of play that can give Eagles problems.
Nigeria have been in camp since last month and Baxter is well aware that Bafana have got out of the starting blocks a lot later than their rivals.
“We have got very little time (to prepare) in comparison to Nigeria’s three weeks in France in training camps. We have very little time and so we need to maximise (our training).
“The reports I got from Nigeria (from his scout) is that offensively they are very strong‚ defensively they all work very hard. “They are on a good run of results‚ so they look very confident.
“So the way we are going to play is very‚ very much to try and be the biggest problem we can be‚ to be the nightmare that they do not want.
“I think that sometimes it is about maybe not playing your best move but playing the move that your opponent doesn’t want. “So we are not fazed and we respect the Nigerians because they have quality in their team and they are on a long run of unbeaten games.”
“But the meeting we had (on Sunday with the players) showed that we do not feel that we are just going there to make up the numbers. Far from it.”
Baxter acknowledged that his preparations have not gone the way he would have wanted‚ given that Bafana have to find a result away from home against tricky opponents who have had a longer time in camp.
“What we have got is not 100 percent perfect and I hope going forward we will hit the spot better.
“None of that is meant as an excuse‚ that is just information we have got for you guys and we will do absolute whatever we can every minute we have got.”
The Bafana coach announced that BidVest Wits defender Thulani Hlatshwayo will captain the side going forward.
Baxter will be assisted by SA under-20 coach Thabo Senong‚ SA under-17 mentor Molefi Ntseki and his goalkeeper coach will be Alex Heredia.