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Baxter confident Bafana can come through tough Afcon group

Bafana are in Group D where they will face Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia with their first game against Ivory Coast on 24 June.

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter at training at Steyn City School

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter believes that his side have the tools to progress out of the group stages at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

Baxter announced his provisional squad earlier this week as South Africa look forward to a daunting group stage.

Bafana are in Group D where they will face Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia, with their first game against Ivory Coast on 24 June.

Speaking on 702's Sports Talk, Baxter said he was confident in his team's ability.

"The acknowledgment that South Africa are a good and dangerous opponent - we welcome that - so we will go as slight underdogs in our group but Ivory Coast and Morocco will look at us as being a difficult opponent", he said.

"We will have to play well, we will have to be smart and tough but if we get through, I guarantee people will not enjoy playing against us", he said.

Bafana came through the qualifying stage without losing a game but finished bottom of their group at the last tournament in 2015.

However, Baxter feels that they are better equipped to go further this time.

"For a number of years, we have lacked a clear direction and haven't developed or profiled many players. We have started to do that now and if you have that, you can start to put down a bit of a game plan. Throughout the qualifying phase and the games against Nigeria and the game against Libya, we showed a tactical sense and mental sense that has been lacking", he said.

"You can't lack in those areas when it comes to a major tournament, but it is a process and something that won't happen overnight", he said.

The tournament starts on 21 June when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe.

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