JOHANNESBURG – Highlands Park coach Owen Da Gama has shot down a media report claiming that he had 'blasted' Bafana Banafa coach Stuart Baxter.
In a post-match interview following the weekend's Telkom Knockout match, Da Gama was asked about the Strasbourg striker Lebo Mothiba, who recently featured for Bafana in the Afcon matches.
Da Gama was the coach at the time when Mothiba played for SA under-23 side and therefore knew the player well.
Da Gama said he was disappointed at the reporter for misquoting him.
"To start with the question was never about Bafana Bafana, but how I feel about Lebo Mothiba’s performance because he got his first national team call-up while I was leading the Under-23 team.
"I only mentioned the fact that 'I was disappointed with the results, I thought that we would keep the team that beat Burkina Faso, the same team that went to beat Nigeria away and then we disassembled that team'.
“The topic was never about coach Baxter and never about Bafana Bafana. I know all about the pressure that comes with coaching Bafana and have to respect and support the decision taken by the national coach.
"This is because he has the responsibility to choose players based on their current form and it's his prerogative to choose the players he sees fit to represent the team at the time.
“I respect members of the media but I never made mention nor blasted anyone but praised the progress and growth shown by players like Lebo Mothibe, Percy Tau and Maboe,” added Da Gama.
African News Agency (ANA)