We are on the right track: Baxter

By Drum Digital
10 October 2012

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter believes winning the the first quarter of the Premiership season is a good indicator for the Soweto side and has urged his players to carry their form into the rest of the league campaign.

In a new innovation this season, the Premier Soccer League announced that the league would be divided into four quarters, with a monetary bonus awarded to the team topping the table at the conclusion of each quarter.

As a result, Chiefs' bank account will be topped up with R1.5 million after their next league fixture against Maritzburg United on October 26.

"Winning the quarter means that the club is happy," Baxter said this week.

"It means that the secretary is very pleased and that the supporters can say that we've won the first quarter.

"For me, it doesn't mean anything. For me and the team it shouldn't mean anything.

"It just means that we are on the right track and we have to keep on reproducing that sort of form, otherwise we know what happens."

With 17 points from the first seven games, Amakhosi have an unassailable four-point lead with one fixture remaining in the first quarter.

Chiefs sealed the top spot with a goalless draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday, with Baxter admitting his side were unlucky not to come away with all three points.

"Although I don't think we re-created our best football, we did enough to get away with three points," he said.

"It wasn't to be, but every time I'm not happy with our performance and we come away with a point, that won't be too bad.

"This is a cruel game and you have to keep on playing."

The achievement comes as a welcome boost ahead of a three-week league break for international fixtures, followed by the first round of the Telkom Knockout, starting on October 17.

Baxter said the team would need to adapt quickly after the international break and regain their momentum heading into the rest of their Premiership campaign if they were to stay at the top of the table for the second quarter.

"I'm hoping that the longer we are together, the more we will extend those 30, 40, 50 minutes that we play really well," the former Bafana Bafana coach said.

"When your players come back, they are usually mentally tired and they still have their national caps on and they take them off to put their club caps on, which sometimes means they have to get their heads around the way we play again.

"So there are a few challenges. I think we are quite blessed with decent lads so they usually recover quite quickly.

"It is a challenge, but it's one that we've got and we can't moan about it.

"You can't not want your players to play for the national team."

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