Baxter: Sundowns in PSL driving seat

Matsatsantsa have muscled their way into the lead with 35 points after 18 matches, although they are only above Cape Town City on goal difference while Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs are one point adrift with Mamelodi Sundowns two behind, but with three games in hand over SuperSport.

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And it is because of that traffic jam at the top of the table, coupled with Sundowns’ games in hand, that has led Baxter to believe the Brazilians have the advantage in the race for league honours.

“I think Sundowns must count themselves as being in the driving seat in terms of if you look at the other teams [in the league standings],” argues Baxter.

“I am not one of those coaches who looks at the log standings and says ‘if they [title rivals] lose and we win’ or ‘if they drop a point there’, I just think that if you are going to win anything, no matter what country you are in and what team you are with, it is going to be because of what you do.

“I can’t control if Wits win their next game and I can’t control Cape Town City dropping points in their next game but I can have an influence on what we do.

“So honestly, I don’t think being top as we are right now will affect me just, like if we are suddenly fourth because we dropped points and they won and temporarily we are down. The most important thing is what happens when we go into the last games of the season, then I will start looking at how many points we need and they need and keep an eye on the other games. Until then you just focus completely on what you are doing,” he reasons.

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With the league now approaching the last third, Baxter feels the large disparity in games played between the various teams gives the league a false standing, though he also understands the dynamics of what leads to some teams lagging behind.

“In a perfect world yes, I understand when Sundowns are kicking on [in CAF competition and their games are postponed. Is the schedule very hectic? Yes, it is. It is manicured at times,” he acknowledges.

“So that discussion needs to be heard because we want to have parity than we have at the moment. However, that is the difficult one which will mean one of the traditional tournaments that we play will have to drop off to make some space. Whatever it is that is decided in the end the result should be that the teams are roughly on the same number of games without having to play catch up because it is not easy at sometimes not fair,” says Baxter.

SuperSport play Premiership game number 19 of this campaign on Saturday night against Ajax Cape Town at Lucas Moripe Stadium [20h15].