Competitive Chiefs don’t need big signings – Stuart Baxter

2014-08-04 13:05

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Kaizer Chiefs boss Stuart Baxter says he is pleased to have a squad of players ready to fight for a place in his starting 11, following Amakhosi’s comfortable MTN8 victory over Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Chiefs made light work of an under-strength Aces yesterday to safely secure their passage into the semifinals of the top eight competition, courtesy of a 4-0 win at FNB Stadium.

“What I am pleased about is the fact that the players know they have competition. We have taken a bit of stick about not signing high-line players,” Baxter said after the game.

“I think the squad that we’ve got is competitive. Every squad can always be better and we could spend more money on different positions.

“But you’ve got to balance that with the fact that the players that I’ve got, they know what we want at Chiefs and they understand the pressure that is on the Chiefs players.”

Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Kingston Nkhatha got Baxter’s side off to a perfect start, each grabbing a goal inside five minutes to send Chiefs into the half-time break leading 2-0 and in complete control.

But it was Mandla Masango’s performance that pleased Baxter most.

Having joined in 2007, well before Baxter’s arrival, Masango struggled to make an impact and had been linked to a move away from Naturena for the past six seasons.

However, Masango was named in Sunday’s starting line-up in the absence of stalwart Siphiwe Tshabalala and grabbed his rare opportunity in a starting role, bagging a second-half brace to kill off the contest in Johannesburg.

“Mandla’s a good player. He’s got a lot of talent. We sometimes don’t manage to get him turned around enough,” Baxter said, assessing the 25-year-old midfielder.

“Today Mandla got himself turned around very much. He was turning around, having a go at people, he worked hard in his defending, his timing was good.

“Everybody knows that Mandla’s been very close to being loaned out and I said to him before the game, ‘you may have got in here through the back door a little bit, but why don’t you throw the cat among the pigeons and see if you can shake a few people up’.

“He did that and now he can smile and he can wait until he gets a pat on the back when we get back to training. I’m sure he’s going to be looking forward to the week’s training.”

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