Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 14:00
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says he will soldier on with his job regardless of which players are available, but believes the country should be worried by no-shows.
Thulani Serero has made headlines by refusing to fly out for Bafana Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to Senegal on Friday evening. The midfielder insists that he will only travel for national team duty if he is guaranteed to play.
Tokelo Rantie is another absentee for the clash, though he at least requested that he not be selected for the squad. Baxter says South African football should be worried by such instances.
“If it’s a trend, then South Africa should be worried, not me,” Baxter said.
“I will pick the players who want to play for South Africa, but if it’s a trend then you should be worried because these are the people who represent the mentality of South Africans.
“I don’t think they represent the mentality of the boys who are here [in camp]. But at the end of the day, Jack Wilshere did not throw in the towel in England and [Sergio] Busquets does not complain when he gets left out [of the Spain squad].”
He continued: “The honour is about being called into the squad and then it’s up to you to show that you are the best man for the job.
“When people see the honour as actually playing and not being in the squad, then that’s a problem because that’s the ego talking and that’s not good.
“I am not going to criticise anybody because it’s everybody’s right to feel the way they want.
“But if it’s a trend that players only come to national camp when they selected, it’s a worry for everybody, not just for the coach.”