Eric Tinkler has advised national team coach Stuart Baxter to rest key players in the upcoming COSAFA Cup, which will be played in Durban from 25 May to 8 June.
Tinkler feels the tournament should be used to access players who are not regulars in the Bafana Bafana starting eleven as they prepare for the Nations Cup and try to protect star players to avoid injuries.
"I think COSAFA can help us to prepare for Egypt, we just have to be careful on how we use players. We can't risk our top side, especially those who have been playing," Tinkler said.
"Rest most and give others a chance, let's avoid unnecessary injuries especially as we have a tough opening match in the AFCON."
Tinkler feels South Africa's AFCON group comprising Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia will be tough but tips Bafana to do well this time around.
"We are in a tough group, we need to make sure we win our first game against Ivory Coast. Surely we will beat Namibia but our key will be the opening match. That will boost our morale going forward, we've got to be ready."