Baxter admits to 'massive' title blow


Chiefs have never lost two League games in a row since Baxter took over last season, and the defeats to Mamelodi Sundowns and Mpumalanga Black Aces have set them on an unusual path – having to dig deep to find a way back to winning matches.

This explains why the players had a dressing room meeting on Wednesday night, followed by another team gathering on Thursday morning.

This is arguably the biggest test of character that all those associated with the AmaKhosi family did not anticipate as their game in hand is now a must-win to keep up to the pace of new leaders Sundowns.

Baxter is urging his squad to show that they have energy and mental strength to still cross the finish line in first place.

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“It is obviously a massive blow to play two home games and not win when you are involved in the title race,” concedes Baxter.

“After the Sundowns game I said we have it in our own hands and I still believe we still have it in our own hands to a certain degree, but the knife moves closer to your throat now. Sundowns will now also feel that pressure that they have not had before but probably have to deal with now.

“Pressure is part of the game, and character is what is usually needed to deal with it. If you make sure that you are consistent, and show good discipline, then you can run out in what is a high-pressure environment.

“However, in any way, shape or form, a defeat at home in that sort of title run is a massive blow. Even if both Sundowns and Black Aces games ended zero-zero those would have been two extra points, and those extra points would have been welcome, and those two extra points could have maybe been the ones to win us the championship.

"It isn’t that we are being 50 percent off the mark but we are just 5-10 percent off, and it wouldn’t need a lot more to translate those 0-1’s to 0-0,” he says.

“However, it wasn’t that and so that is a blow. The players have to make sure they regain some confidence and make sure they lick their wounds, and get back onto their horses and back into this race.

“If we are going to be serious contenders we have to find that energy, find that commitment and find that discipline to make sure that in the remaining games we give the sort of account of ourselves that we are looking for,” concludes the Brit.