2 minute read
20 Feb 2016
9:00 am

Can Baxter stop Chiefs’ title run?

Could Amakhosi's former coach put a nail in their title coffin?

Stuart Baxter coach of Supersport United (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

Kaizer Chiefs’ Absa Premiership meeting with SuperSport United in Cape Town this evening is given added spice by the return of Stuart Baxter to face his former side.

Baxter had three extremely successful seasons at Chiefs, winning two Absa Premiership titles, an MTN8 and a Nedbank Cup.

His sudden departure at the end of last season carried a hint of acrimony, though both the coach and club were quick to deny talk of a rift over transfer policy.

Interestingly, Chiefs team manager Bobby Motaung stirred the pot this week when he criticised Baxter for talking about signing Amakhosi players for his new side.

This seems unnecessary – it is only natural, after all, for Baxter to talk about signing players who served him so well at Naturena.

And it could also work against Chiefs as it is likely to fire up a man whose tactical acumen was proved in spades in his time at Amakhosi.

Baxter has had a moderate start to his Matsatsantsa tenure, not helped by him inheriting a side very low on morale and with a worryingly porous defence.

He did, however, pick up a first win against Tuks at the weekend, and has the players to pose a danger to Chiefs in their home-away-from-home in the Mother City.

If Baxter might be irritated by Motaung’s comments, there will be plenty of friendship on the touchline between him and Chiefs coach Steve Komphela.

Komphela and Baxter go way back, after all – Komphela was Baxter’s assistant coach at Bafana Bafana.

Now Komphela has been handed the unenviable task of filling Baxter’s shoes at Chiefs.

And thus far, Chiefs fans seem mainly undecided on their new man – results have tended to be more impressive than performances, while even Komphela has acknowledged that reaching two cup finals but not bringing home a trophy is not good enough at a club like Chiefs.

Chiefs are on a good league run, but with Sundowns setting an intense pace at the top, they badly need to continue winning against SuperSport.

Could Baxter put a nail in their title coffin?