Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football writer
2 minute read
14 Jun 2021
4:47 pm

Why Stuart Baxter won’t be leading Kaizer Chiefs against Wydad

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane will be on the bench for Kaizer Chiefs in Casablanca.

Stuart Baxter can't be on the bench when Kaizer Chiefs face Wydad Casablanca on Saturday. Picture: Kaizer Chiefs.

With newly appointed coach Stuart Baxter still awaiting his work permit, Kaizer Chiefs will be guided by co-coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Shepard in their important Caf Champions League semi finals first leg on Saturday.

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Amakhosi will meet Wydad Athletic of Casablanca at Stade Mohammed V on Saturday evening. It should be a cracker of a game. Chiefs confirmed on Monday afternoon that Baxter will not be on the bench.

He will however travel with the team and will probably be sitting in the stands during the game. Baxter returned to the Naturena side last week to much fanfare from the Amakhosi supporters who see him as a messiah who will guide them out of an awkwardly lengthy trophy drought. He replaced Gavin Hunt who was unceremoniously released by the club two weeks ago.

Zwane and Shepard sat on the bench for Chiefs’ last two DStv Premiership games and did a sterling job – first staving off relegation and then qualifying the side for the MTN8. They were Hunt’s assistants and look likely to stay on and assist Baxter as well.

Former Chiefs player, Stanton Fredericks has meanwhile called for the team to be courageous when they meet the deadly Wydad. “Stiga” as Fredericks was fondly known, told the Kaizer Chiefs website that Amakhosi have nothing to lose and should throw caution to the wind.

“You now need courage to go on – but that does not come from the coaches. Players need to be sitting down, discussing and understanding success on the continent stays with you and the team forever – it becomes part of your legacy,” said Fredericks who was with Amakhosi when they won the Mandela Cup (now Caf Confederation Cup) in 2001.

“The importance of this competition is beyond comprehension. You need to understand that when you move into the final stages. I have always been a fan of playing away first in two legged ties. In the 2001 Cup Winners Cup Final, we played away first against Inter Luanda.

“When you play away, you become disciplined, trying not to lose – to score is a bonus. I always feel playing away first is an advantage. The difference now is there are no fans and that nullifies the advantage of an away leg and home leg quite a bit.”