Stuart Baxter: To call us favourites is ridiculous

Coach Stuart Baxter is confident they will make detractors sit up. /Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Coach Stuart Baxter is confident they will make detractors sit up. /Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will be banking on the team's 18-month undefeated run to put them in good stead at the Africa Cup of Nations.

SA are putting the finishing touches on their preparations ahead of the continental tournament in Egypt starting on Friday.

Bafana will open their account in Group D against Ivory Coast in Cairo on Monday.

"This is a team in reconstruction. We haven't lost in a year and a half and that's encouraging but to call us favourites would be ridiculous.

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"You've got Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Morocco, who will all feel they have a better chance."

The last time Baxter lost a match as Bafana coach was in June last year in the Cosafa Cup where they were edged by Madagascar on penalties.

Bafana played to a goalless draw against Ghana in a friendly at the weekend and will now face Angola in Cairo tomorrow.

The Briton tactician was relatively pleased with what he saw during the friendly in Dubai.

"We played everybody in the squad and so to draw nil-nil with the Black Stars when we have rotated the whole team is not bad.

"Some players put their hands up and others weakened their case. The players that you think should be in the starting line-up, most of them did well."

Group D is truly the group of death at this year's edition, with Morocco and Namibia also in the mix.

Baxter has urged his players to be fearless and not to get intimidated by the continental stage.

"We need to keep improving and play our game with confidence and not show an exaggerated respect for everybody. We have to go out there with the belief we can win."

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