Coach Baxter now takes aim at his former club, Kaizer Chiefs

2016-02-18 06:00
New SuperSport United head coach Stuart Baxter (left) and ace striker Kingston Nkhatha are heading back to their former club Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

New SuperSport United head coach Stuart Baxter (left) and ace striker Kingston Nkhatha are heading back to their former club Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

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He used to win trophies for Kaizer Chiefs, now Stuart Baxter will be plotting Amakhosi’s downfall!

Baxter, who led Chiefs to the Absa Premiership and MTN8 double before leaving to work in Turkey at the end of last season, has now come back to haunt the champions.

Baxter will lead his new club, SuperSport United, against the side he coached with distinction for three years at the FNB Stadium on Saturday (8.15pm), three weeks after joining Matsatsantsa a Pitori.

Baxter won the league and Nedbank Cup double – coincidentally beating SuperSport in the 2012-13 Nedbank Cup final – and clinched another double before he resigned last June.

Said the coach: “This game against Chiefs came a bit soon for me.

“ I would have liked more time with the players. But they are all fired up. The adrenalin is pumping. We managed to beat University of Pretoria 2-0 last weekend and that showed me we are making progress.”

Baxter said he still had plenty of friends at Chiefs, including his successor, Steve Komphela. He explained: “There will be emotion and plenty of hugs, both before and after the game. But the minute we cross that white line and the game kicks off, all friendships are forgotten.

“We need the points more than them, as our goal is a top eight finish.”

Baxter voiced his support for Komphela, who has come under fire from a section of the supporters: “Steve is doing a really good job. It is not easy at Chiefs. The margin between having a good season and a reasonable one is very fine. I don’t think any fan can complain about him.”

Baxter said his advantage would be that he knows the players and has a good idea what to expect: “But at the same time they know how I operate, so it will be an interesting game.”

It will also be an emotional return for SuperSport striker Kingston Nkhatha, who has scored twice in Baxter’s three matches in charge. The Zimbabwean striker was given a rough time by the Chiefs fans before he joined Matsatsantsa last January.

Baxter always had faith in Nkhatha at Chiefs. He has shown he is getting back to his best. He will have a point to prove to the Chiefs fans.

Said Baxter: “Kingston is scoring goals again. He scored a wonder goal in our 3-1 loss to Ajax Cape Town and then scored in the 2-0 win over Tuks.”

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