Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has praised the attitude of Percy Tau ahead of the final warm-up game ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The South Africans have arrived in Cairo on Tuesday after a lengthy journey from Dubai, where they held a training camp and played a practice match against Ghana.
Bafana drew 0-0 with the Black Stars, and will now wrap up their preparations against Angola in Cairo on Wednesday (5.30pm SA time).
Baxter’s team will kickoff their Afcon campaign on Monday 24 June against Ivory Coast (4.30pm SA time).
The Ghana clash gave Baxter a chance to test his group of players, with two different teams coming out for each half.
One of those “experiments” was moving striker Tau to a more defensive role.
“I am always impressed with Percy (Tau) because his attitude is spot-on. We asked him to play a slightly different role today, and our midfield players and defenders didn’t really defend the way we wanted them to do, meaning Percy had to drop back,” the coach told the Safa website.
“But the second half, we defended better, and that is why the likes of Lebogang Maboe and Themba Zwane were more dangerous up the field. We didn’t do that in the first half.”
But now things get serious, with the Angolan clash the last outing before taking on the Ivorians, and the Bafana mentor believes the team will be in peak condition at kickoff.
“We are not fully ready, but we will be. We have another game against Angola, and then with the trainings we have in between before the Ivory Coast game, we should then be ready,” Baxter said.
Bafana Bafana warming up before training at Aero Sports Center in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/KuZer648xC— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) June 18, 2019
“What we need to do is improve and keep improving, and play our game with confidence and not to show exaggerated respect for our opponents. If we can win a few games, then you never know what happens next.”
The players and management were welcomed to Cairo by local organising committee members and staff from the South African embassy in Egypt.
The Angolan match will take place at the Cairo Aero Sports Club at the Ministry of Civil Aviation.@ashfakmohamed