JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela believes that Stuart Baxter will weather the storm that hit him after Bafana Bafana’s World Cup qualification ambition took a nosedive following back-to-back defeats to Cape Verde.
Bafana need a miracle to book a ticket to Russia as they sit on one point after three games, rooted at the bottom of Group D.
Even the fans seem to have lost faith in the national team, with poor ticket sales for their World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
“I wish them (Bafana) the very best, more so Stuart,” Komphela said. “He is going through exactly what I am going through. Maybe the two of us should have a cup of coffee. That would go down very well.
“I wish him the very best. I know what he is going through. But he is seasoned enough. Stuart is seasoned enough. He will carry this, not only carry this, but he will carry it with dignity.
“When it’s all done and dusted, he will look back with no regrets because one of the worst mistakes of our lives is that when we go through turmoil, we lose our dignity.
“At the end of the storm, you look back, and there is stuff that you did and said that you can’t repair.”
Komphela has been dignified in how he has handled the pressure he endures at Amakhosi.
He will look to get some reprieve on Sunday in a friendly with Bloemfontein Celtic in the Macufe Cup at Free State Stadium.
Komphela will field an experimental side in the clash which could see Joseph Molangoane given a rare run.
The midfielder hasn’t featured in a single league match in this campaign, with his only appearance in the MTN8 against SuperSport United.
That absence, of a key player from the last campaign, led to speculation that he is being fazed out of Naturena.
“There are no issues with him,” Komphela said. “He was sick and then got out. (Bhongolwethu) Jayiya came in, started playing. (Wiseman) Meyiwa was there, Mido (George Maluleka) was there, (Willard) Katsande, Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala) and (Gustavo) Paez.
“But again the pity, I don’t respond to certain things. And that’s why as they go on, it looks like it’s true because I don’t rectify them myself.
“Otherwise you would have to rectify everything that’s flying out there. You would spend more time rectifying this and that. You would lose focus of what you have to do.
“All that is said, with respect to whoever said it, isn’t true. There was a stage where he had flu after Itu (Itumeleng Khune) had his chest problems. It wasn’t easy for him to come back.
“But at least he has started to train a bit more now. Just after that, I don’t know if it was a virus or something, he even missed training because he was sent home for two days… Players are my best partners in this business.”