Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says Njabulo Ngcobo's inclusion in the Bafana Bafana squad recently does not give him an automatic passport into the team at Naturena.
The reigning PSL defender of the season is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Soweto giants since joining from Swallows FC during the transfer window. Despite featuring in the COSAFA Cup for Bafana Bafana and recently being called-up for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana recently, Ngcobo will need to work harder to convince Baxter he deserves a spot in the team ahead of the likes of Daniel Cardoso, Mulomowandau Mathoho and Austin Dube.
There have been calls by Amakhosi supporters for Baxter to play Ngcobo, but the coach has not heeded to those calls.
"If Vina (Maphosa) is selected into the national team, I can't then put Vina into our team because some other coach thinks he is doing very well. I (have) to work with Njabulo and see how he is with our players. I believe he is a very talented player, but I (have) to judge if he is ready to go into our team based on his experience with us. It's maybe easier for him to go into the national squad because the national squad is also players that the coach does not know that well. Whether the coach selects him or not, it's great for the club, it's great for the player. But it does not give him an automatic passport into the team here," Baxter told media ahead of his side's match against Royal AM on Saturday.
Baxter explained that he did not see Ngcobo last season and throwing he and Dube into the team might not be the best way to go right now.
"Fundamental reasons being that I have never seen him before. You talk about last season. I didn't see him one minute last season. The first minute I saw him was when I walked in the gates at Naturena. Njabulo was obviously going to make himself known to me (and) me to him, do some work together and see how quickly we can get in. We virtually had no pre-season. We had one practice game, so therefore he's had very little chance to make a lasting impression. He has done very well in training, as has Austin. At the moment, it's been a question of trying to ease them both into the scheme of things. If you throw them in the deep end, you may break their chances of establishing themselves."