South Africa Football Association president Danny Jordaan has admitted that new Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter faces a tough debut against Nigeria, but believes the national team is in good hands.
The SuperSport United tactician was named as Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s permanent replacement earlier this month, with the Briton set for a baptism of fire as he begins his job against African giants Nigeria in an Africa Cup Nations Cup qualifier in Uyo on June 10.
Jordaan said in a statement on the SAFA official website: "The year 2017/18 is going to be very important, most importantly for participation and qualification for Bafana Bafana. One of the biggest tests is, of course, the match against Nigeria in Uyo for the AFCON qualifier.
"The coach has recently announced his team and this is the first big test for him. I don’t think it is often that coaches start off with such huge tests. I remember when Gordon Igesund was appointed; his first task was against Brazil away in Sao Paolo. It was a huge challenge for him even though the team played well and lost 1-0.
"Looking back at the last three matches, we did well against Nigeria and I think we have a good chance against them. I think the psychological issues around playing against Nigeria are gone now.
"Most of the Bafana Bafana players that have been selected have played against Nigeria on multiple occasions."