Bafana have had a mixed qualification campaign.
They started beating Nigeria for the first time in a competitive game‚ away‚ and drew against the Super Eagles in Johannesburg last month‚ and are unbeaten from five games.
But poor results being held to draws at home against Libya and Seychelles away have left the South Africans needing a draw from their last game against Libya in March.
Baxter said qualifying as hosts “can be an anti-climax”.
He said Bafana also still have the concerning tendency of blowing matches they should win.
“And therefore the Libya game was yet another challenge mentally. And that’s why it was important for us‚” he said.
The coach‚ however‚ said he is completely aware of how big a prospect playing in a home Afcon can be for emerging Bafana talents such as Percy Tau‚ Lebo Mothiba and Teboho Mokoena.
“We have seen some progress and some green shoots coming through‚” the coach said.