Baxter aiming to replicate first Chiefs spell


Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter will be aiming to replicate previous success ahead of next week's MTN8 fixtures, which coincides with his first appointment at the club.

Chiefs travel to Mamelodi Sundowns for their quarter-final, which was ironically Baxter's first game in charge at Chiefs almost exactly nine years ago (August 5, 2012).

As is usually the case with foreign coaches coming into the country, his appointment was greeted with scepticism in some quarters. Following a 4-1 defeat in his first game, he found himself heavily criticised. 

Within just over half an hour, Sundowns had scored four courtesy of Thami Sangweni, Tebogo Langerman, Lebohang Mokoena and Edward Manqele, with Chiefs scoring a consolation goal with 15 minutes remaining through Reneilwe Letsholonyane.

Questions were raised about how Chiefs could get off to such a bad start after the club had signed Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Nkosi, Tsepo Masilela Mulomowandau Mathoho, Kgotso Moleko and Kingston Nkhatha.

Baxter blamed the heavy defeat on defensive blunders with three of his back four on the day Gaxa, Gould and Mathoho all new additions.

"Three of the goals conceded were from set-pieces which surprised me. Sundowns delivered three very good balls into our box, and we didn't deal with it. I think our inability to deal with those set pieces at that stage of the game, when we were a goal down, were to blame, and I thought we lost our composure," said Baxter after that game.

However, just under a week later, AmaKhosi trounced AmaZulu 6-0 and set the tone towards winning the league title while also adding the Nedbank Cup in the first two of four trophies that Baxter secured for Chiefs during his three-year stint.

The Scot has now returned to Chiefs six years later, with him still the last man to deliver silverware at Naturena with Steve Komphela, Giovanni Solinas, Ernst Middendorp and Gavin Hunt having all failed to lift silverware.

Though Baxter was in charge of the recent CAF Champions League final Chiefs lost, Baxter will be aiming to clinch the first win of his second spell in next week's clash against Sundowns.

For the AmaKhosi masses, they will be hoping that Baxter can again prove successful and end at what now stands as their longest wait for silverware in the club's 51 years history.

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