The lads deserve a massive pat on the back – Baxter
The lads deserve a massive pat on the back – Baxter

Posted in News, Team News on Feb 28, 2022.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter was delighted with his team’s fighting spirit and application in their last-ditch 1-0 win on the road against Baroka, in what was his milestone 150th DStv Premiership game.

Khama Billiat’s late winner gave Baxter his 80th career league win as Amakhosi climbed up to second spot on the DStv Premiership standings.

A delighted Baxter was full of praise for his side as they completed a league season double over Baroka for the first time.

“I think the lads deserve a massive pat on the back for two reasons; one because they kept going, then they also kept on believing,” Baxter said after the game.

The Chiefs coach very happy with his team’s application and their determination to keep going in search of the game’s winner.

“Despite us having 16 shots at goal and 8 on target, we still did not get our noses in front. This was not an easy game. It was before the derby and we knew how badly we needed to get three points. The lads showed that we played some really good football in the last third, our build up play was on point and we did not lose the ball. Our movement was good; we created a lot of chances in the first half and in the second half we were producing some really dangerous situations,” Baxter said of the game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Baxter bided his time against Baroka before making substitutions, and those who entered the field turned the course of the game with second half substitutes Sabelo Radebe and Leonardo Castro instrumental in setting up Billiat’s winner.

“I waited because Baroka’s main threat was coming from them hoofing balls into our penalty area, which they did with some quality and aggression. We needed the three centre backs to win the headers,” explained Baxter.

But after absorbing the aerial barrage, he knew it would be offensive changes that would win the game for him.

“We decided that we were going to put on more attacking players. We took off a centre back and brought on more attacking players. Lebogang Manyama and Sabelo Radebe both had a positive impact and at the finish we got the ball in and Khama Billiat’s there like he had been all night to slot it into the back of the net,” Baxter said of the game’s dramatic final stages.

With a derby game against arch- rivals Orlando Pirates next on the horizon Baxter is also delighted with the fact that his team did not slip on the proverbial banana peel by focusing on the big Soweto derby and not on the Baroka game at hand.

“We have Pirates up next. Traditionally one that you think the game before ‘will they take their eye off the ball?’. On both accounts I think we kept discipline well,” Baxter said proudly.

Now, as his team move into second place on the log, full focus is on the Soweto Derby.

“Pirates is a completely different game, how we set up tactically against them waits to be seen. We will suck on this caramel and then it’s back to work,” said Baxter.

Chiefs will prepare for the Pirates game, according to Baxter, with a number of positives.

“We do have some fresh legs. For the next game we are expecting Bernard Parker to be back. Samir Nurković has a good hour under his belt, Leonardo Castro has had time on the field and Lebogang Manyama has had more time on the field, so we have a full squad to look at now,” concluded Baxter.

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