CAPE TOWN - Stuart Baxter has received a positive endorsement from Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler because of the manner in which he opened up the lines of communication around his Bafana selection.
With City’s Lebogang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma called up to the South African national squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria, Tinkler explained why he believes Baxter is going about things the right way.
“Stuart (Baxter) called me to ask questions about both Manyama and Ngoma,” said Tinkler. “And that’s good, I believe that is the way to go because, as coaches, we spend the most time with the players. It was the first time ever that a national coach has called to ask me my opinion of players.
"I was able to give Stuart some insight on my two players, and he even asked my opinion on some of his other selections. This is important because it’s vital that the national coach has a good relationship with all the coaches in the PSL.
“Both Manyama and Ngoma deserve their call-ups to the Bafana squad. Now, though, they have to raise their game and take it to the next level.”
City are in action on Saturday afternoon for the final PSL game of the season when they are in the Limpopo Province to take on Polokwane City (3pm kickoff). For the Cape side, there is still something to play for.
“It has been a long season and what we have achieved is fantastic,” said Tinkler. “To think that, coming to the last game, we are in a position to challenge for second on the log, and a place in the African Champions League.
“We are in a bit of a rough stage, though,” added Tinkler, when asked about his squad. “We have quite a few injuries - Roland Putsche, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Mpho Matsi and Given Mashikinya, while Thato Mokeke is suspended. We will put out the strongest team we can and try to get a result. Polokwane may not have anything to play for, they are safe in a top-eight position, but we do”
Tinkler said he was expecting a tough time against Polokwane, who have had a really good season.
“I expect Polokwane to come with the same intensity they have all season,” said the City coach. “They are good going forward and they are always very structured and organised in defence.
“Teams have changed the way they approach games against us. They are no longer coming at us, instead they are sitting back because we are strong on the transition. We are going to have to be disciplined in our play.”
At yesterday’s training session in Green Point, City were handed a cheque for R1.5million by the PSL for winning Q3.