Stuart Baxter rejects SuperSport United send-off claims ahead of Nedbank Cup final
Posted: 22 June 2017 Time: 11:14
SuperSport United coach Stuart Baxter insists winning the Nedbank Cup this year has nothing to do with him but all to do with the players and the club.
Baxter is set to take his final stand wearing his SuperSport hat, before permanently donning his Bafana Bafana hat, when they take on Orlando Pirates in the eagerly-anticipated, traditional end-of-season clash on Saturday.
The British tactician is hoping to leave on a good note by placing something in the club's trophy cabinet, and believes the players deserve to end a grueling domestic season with something to show for their efforts.
"Definitely, I want to leave something behind for the club, and more than that I want the players to get the success I think they deserve," says Baxter.
"I think they've worked really hard this season and, at times, in unbelievably trying circumstances – with injury problems, travelling in Africa and the fact that there was a lot of rumours at one stage about me not being or being.
"I think they've put up with all of that and they've still kept on picking up results and they've kept on doing well, so I want that to be rewarded in a tangible way."
Matsatsantsa could possibly become the first club to succesfully defend their Nedbank Cup crown, which they first lifted by beating the same opponents 3-2 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium a year ago.
However, the history-talk was put on the back-burner earlier this week, when goalkeeper Ronwen Williams said that the players will look to lift the cup as a send-off to Baxter, for his contribution to the team over the last 18-months.
The former Kaizer Chiefs mentor, though, has quickly redirected the focus to the team, insisting that winning should be in the interest of the club and its supporters, rather than trying to reward him.
"I told them yesterday, I don't want to hear anybody talking about me having a send-off, or blah-blah-blah... That's all nonsense," he adds.
"I'm a professional and my job is to make sure that they can give a performance in the final. This is not about me but about them, and it's about the football club and its supporters.
"If we concentrate on that, we'll do our jobs properly and we'll take that [send-off talk] out of the equation."