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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
SA coach expects the sack
Sooner or later, I'll be sacked. It may be now or maybe they'll wait until the end of the campaign
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter believes that his dismissal from the job is imminent.

This follows Bafana Bafana's 3-1 defeat to the Stallions of Burkina Faso in a Group Two World Cup qualifier in Ouagadougou.

The defeat ended their chances of making a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals and threatens their chances of qualifying for next year's African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

"After one and a half years, I've passed the sell-by date of most coaches - they've had 12 coaches in 11 years," Baxter said, ahead of South Africa's friendly against 2006 World Cup hosts Germany in Bremen on Wednesday.

"Sooner or later, I'll be sacked. It may be now or maybe they'll wait until the end of the campaign.

"I am massively disappointed," Baxter said. "When you reflect on the performance, at least two goals came after schoolboy errors.

"Big players need to play big in big games," said the English coach.

Baxter had critical words for the South African media, whom he accused of putting his players under intense pressure.

"They fight their club managers to go back and play for the national team and when they get back they get beaten by the press before they even play.

"The constant pounding from the press affects the players' performance, Baxter said.

"When you need to stand up and when it counts, it's hard for them to go to that extra bit.

"It's not an excuse but it (the media criticism) may be in the back of their heads."

Baxter was also unsparing in his criticism of his employers, the South African Football Association.

"They wanted me to be sacked when we were two points ahead. Their culture is to be negative and critical."

Worried that an ageing national team could leave South Africa with few top-class players when they retire, Baxter warned that a new team must be put in place for the 2010 World Cup finals, which the country is hosting.

He said he has brought in younger players to give them some international exposure, with the 2010 tournament in mind.



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