Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 14:00
The South African Football Association (SAFA) has revealed that Thabo Senong will be in charge of South Africa in the second leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.
The encounter will be played on Saturday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London last weekend.
South Africa assistant coach Senong will lead the team to Zambia. He could be accompanied to Zambia by Bafana Bafana legend Quinton Fortune, who is currently with the SAFA technical team.
Baxter, who hails from the United Kingdom, will remain behind to focus his attention on the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde in back to back clashes.
The first encounter takes place on Friday, 1 September in Cape Verde, with the next fixture four days later (Tuesday, 5 September) at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
“Because of the difficulties we have had, I have had little time to concentrate on the absolutely vital assignment, and that is the Cape Verde qualifiers," Baxter told SAFA's official website.
"And based on that and also based on the fact that this is about development, I won’t be travelling to Zambia. I am going to use that time to watch some PSL games over the weekend, and prepare for the squad announcement on Monday (21 August).
“This gives me a couple of days to clear my head, do my analysis and check on players. This is also gives Thabo the chance to take some responsibility as we are talking about development. We have decided this is the best possible way to go," he stressed.
“Senong could be assisted by former Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune who is in the country to hold talks with the South African Football Association (SAFA) about a possible appointment into Baxter’s technical team.
“One of the staff that will be travelling to Zambia, albeit in a temporary basis, is Quinton Fortune. He arrived this morning (Wednesday, 16 August), and will follow the training session this afternoon at the FNB Stadium and will basically attend everything that we do in camp. We are still to decide if he will go with Thabo to be a some kind of an assistant or spectator – just to see how we do things," Baxter added.
“When the squad gets back, there will be a conversation between him and the Association to see if we have found any common ground, and also to check if there is any room for us to bring him on board on a permanent basis. What is happening now is just a matter of the two parties having a look and see of the situation."
The winner between Bafana and Zambia's Chipolopolo will book their place in next's CHAN finals which are scheduled to take place in Kenya.