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Samir Nurkovic's goal drought 'not necessarily a crisis' - Chiefs boss Stuart Baxter

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Kaizer Chiefs player Samir Nurkovic celebrates during the CAF Champions League semi final. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Kaizer Chiefs player Samir Nurkovic celebrates during the CAF Champions League semi final. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter admits that striker Samir Nurkovic's goal drought is not a significant concern and that he may be struggling with a lack of confidence.

Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Glamour Boys' DStv Premiership clash against Royal AM, Baxter says every striker goes through these slumps without scoring goals.

"I think yes absolutely, Samir is not necessarily in a crisis, but he is a striker who lives and has lived for the whole of his career with goals as the gold standard," said Baxter.

"Even if he is playing well for the team at the moment and even if he is getting to goalscoring positions, he is not tucking them away, and that displeases him immensely.

"It causes him frustration, and therefore, yes, he is waiting for that goal to ease the pressure on himself, so I think that is a definite.

"So, what do I do?

"I have spoken to him individually and tried to reassure him that as long as he is working hard and as long as he is opening for other people then he is still doing a good job for the team.

"But the point when it becomes a problem, and he needs to take a step back, then I will rest him by putting him on the bench or rest him completely."

The Serbian-born has last scored for Amakhosi in the CAF Champions League against Wydad AC despite featuring in all four of their games in the 2021/22 season.

However, the 28-year-old is expected to get a taste of playing again on Sunday.

"So, you can only do that because there are only a few tools that we have as coaches. That is what we can do," said Baxter.

"We can talk to him and reassure him and give him another run, and when it comes to a point where I think we should rest him now, then we will do that.

"But then I think at the moment, one goal will solve the whole thing. If he wasn't getting into these goalscoring positions, then I would be closer to probably resting him. Then he probably would need to take a step back and regroup.

"At the moment, he is getting into good positions, so he is doing a good job for the team, and I think we should have that little bit of patience," explains Baxter.

Saturday's kick-off is at 17:00.

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Wed 15 Sep 21 18:00 PM (SAST)
Cape Town City FC
Marumo Gallants FC
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