Baxter braced for Bucs challenge


The teams will collide at FNB Stadium, with influential striker Musona set to miss out after hurting his shoulder when scoring against Free State Stars in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals last weekend.

Pirates, meanwhile, are riding high after destroying Golden Arrows 4-0 in the same cup in midweek, while they recently qualified for the African Champions League Final. 

"Pirates are coming to the game with their confidence very high. I feel we are in good shape at the moment. We have of course a challenge; Knowledge Musona will be sidelined due to injury. We have to pull together in order to face the challenge head on," Baxter told his club's official website.

Baxter added that being the hosts will be of little advantage on the day.

"The players feel good to play at FNB. Home or away will not count much," he said.

"We were not affected by the last away game when we played them in a 1–1 draw. We dominated the game in the first half of the second leg of the MTN8 in their backyard. We were unlucky to lose on the away goal rule (Chiefs lost 2–1 to Pirates in the two legged semi-finals of the MTN8 Cup). 

"It is still early in the league but a win will certainly put us in a good position." 

The Briton continued: "As a top club, we expect to play in big games. If you are not prepared to play in this type of games then you shouldn’t be at a big club. If you play in such important games, you know that’s a sign of success.

"The mood in the camp is good. It has been good. We have recovered from the return of the national team players. They have recuperated and gone over a hump against Free State Stars to reach the 2013 TKO semis. We want to play good football and bring smiles to our supporters.

"The preparations have gone very well. We watch the players every day at training. We look at the needs of the team and not of the individual players. There are only 11 places available in the starting line up. It is more hurting for the players not to be in the starting line up or not to be on the bench in the Derby, but as I said there are only 11 places in the starting line up and only seven can sit on the bench.