'Bernard Parker bleeds gold and black'

Premiership

Head coach Stuart Baxter has revealed why veteran attacker Bernard Parker deserves the respect of Kaizer Chiefs fans.

For all the progress that Chiefs have made in the league under Baxter this season compared to the last term, he has had swords thrown in his direction just like what has persistently been the case for Parker.

"Football is a game of opinions, and everybody shouldn't think the same way as Stuart Baxter and everybody shouldn't think the same way as Jurgen Klopp, and the guy at the pizza store down the corner has a right to his opinion as well," Baxter said.

The 68-year-old then praised veteran attacker Parker just a week before he turns 36 in his eleventh season where he has featured in 30 Soweto derbies.

"When we look at Bernard, I think even the most hardened Chiefs fans have to look at this guy and say, 'this guy loves Kaizer Chiefs, and he loves everything about the place, and he puts his body on the line'. For that reason, they should respect him.

Scroll through the gallery to see the action from the Soweto Derby

"Bernard has no divine right to get appraised, but he is so well-liked by his teammates and respected by the opposition that I think it would be a shame if he is not appreciated. Sometimes not for the performance on the day but for the person that he is.

"If you cut him, he will bleed gold and black, so he is that sort of person. I don't tell the supporters what they should think. They don't need to think what I'm instructing them to think. They have their own minds and that is the joy of football. Bernard has shown that he is a valuable member of the team and will continue so," said Baxter.

"The talk about him being too old, I think we should absolutely put that one away for a while because if he plays like that, he can get into any team in the PSL.

"Bernard thrives on stretching himself as a person, stretching himself as a player, and stretching himself to being what Kaizer Chiefs need him to be. And if he sits in the stands, he will be the best player in the stands, and if he sits on the bench, he will be a great bench player. That is his attitude.

"So, all I do is to make sure that he stays in that zone where he can give that sort of performance. To his credit, he can still give that means, even I give a little bit of inspiration, the motivation comes from Bernard and nowhere else," details Baxter.

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