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Baxter: I can’t make Kermit Erasmus feel like the man in Bafana set up

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said that Erasmus is a confidence player and he can’t guarantee him the same confidence that has been shown in him by his club mentor Benni McCarthy.

Cape Town City FC forward Kermit Erasmus. Picture: @CapeTownCityFC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he can’t make in-form Cape Town City striker Kermit Erasmus "feel like the man" as his reason for not including him in his 24-man squad for their final Afcon qualifier against Libya.

Erasmus recently returned to the country after a long sojourn in Europe. The 28-year-old Erasmus scored his debut goal for his new club against reigning league champions Mamelodi Sundowns in a narrow 3-2 loss at Loftus, before helping City come from behind to beat Wits 3-2 before scoring his third consecutive goal inside a week in a 2-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in Cape Town.

When asked if he considered selecting Erasmus in his squad for the crunch clash against Libya in which Bafana Bafana need just a point to secure their spot in the tournament that will now be hosted in Egypt, Baxter said that Erasmus is a confidence player and he can’t guarantee him the same confidence that has been shown in him by his club mentor Benni McCarthy.

"Kermit is very much a confidence player and I think he is in a good space now. I have to commend Benni for the job that he has done with Kermit because he has made him feel like the man at City now. Kermit feels like he is the man now and I can’t guarantee the same for him with the national side."

Baxter instead went for Lebo Mothiba, Percy Tau, Holland-based Lars Veldwijk, Lebo Maboe and Keagan Dolly who has just returned from injury as his strike force.

South Africa take on Libya in the Tunisian city of Sfax on Sunday 2 March.