Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter called off the national team’s camp on Monday to allow players to report back to their clubs earlier than expected and he is likely to ask for a similar favour next month.

Baxter‚ who faces possible dismissal if Bafana fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia‚ is expected to request clubs to reciprocate the gesture in the build up to the back-to-back clashes against Senegal.

"This will assist local-based players to report early at their teams as we want to keep a healthy relationship with all the clubs. We also believe this will help overseas-based players to spend a few more hours with their families than would have been possible before they jet out of the country to return to their clubs‚" Baxter said.

He added that their decision was also made easier by the fact that most of the players were carrying injuries.

"After serious deliberation with the technical team‚ we decided that it is not in the best interest of the players to continue with another training session on Monday.

"What also pushed us to that decision was the many players carrying injuries and we felt they would be better off if given more time to rest to help them recover quicker."

Bafana Bafana’s 3-1 win over Burkina Faso has refreshed their chances of qualifying for Russia, but they must beat Senegal in two matches starting at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 10. Failure to get maximum points against Senegal in Polokwane will eliminate Bafana from the World Cup, rendering their final qualifier four days later a dead rubber.

"Senegal’s victory over Cape Verde last weekend has tilted the scale slightly in our favour and now we are still very much alive in the qualifiers.

"I have been saying we have to live in the here and now and what happens in the other match is not our concern. We have to win the remaining matches and we are off to Russia‚ anything less, we know we are out," Baxter said.

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