According to BusinessDay, Baxter in his pre-match media conference on Tuesday has said that Bafana is not favourites. He reacted to what the Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr said that the Bafana is the favourite to lift the trophy. He expressed his disagreement with Gernot Rohr’s comment calling it a mind technique to send them (Bafana) into lalaland.
“Not at all. I think the Nigerians are absolutely one of the best teams on the continent. They have been for a long time‚” Baxter said.
“They have been a powerhouse of African football for a long time. And one game doesn’t make us favourites. I think Gernot would love to have that tag as underdogs‚ and in that way slip the pressure.”
Rohr was asked in his briefing why both coaches are so keen on the underdog tag.
“No, we don’t play this game,” he said. “We are realistic. We believe that we still have to improve. We had difficult games. We lost against Madagascar.
“We suffered against Cameroon. We made a lot of mistakes. So we are realistic.
“SA played so well against Egypt that you have to be humble. And we still have to work.
“They also have the advantage that they already know this stadium. They had this success here. And they [are] more at home [in Cairo].
“We only arrived yesterday from Alexandria, which was a wonderful place. Not so hot like here. A very nice hotel, with fresh wind, close to the sea.
“It’s always different here in Cairo. So we have to adapt. And we have only one day to adapt now. But we will be ready.”
Bafana players will pocket R670,00 each if they beat Nigeria. The SA Football Association’s acting CEO Russell Paul confirmed the financial carrot on Tuesday and added that the players would earn R920,000 each if they eventually win the tournament.