Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has admitted the difficulties facing the club as they seek to find their way back to the top again following their recent troubles.
Chiefs have not had an off-season with the 2020/21 Champions League season dates having overlapped into July, due to the strain Covid-19 placed on the football calendar last year.
Amakhosi played their last domestic match on June 5 and then had to play their two semi-final legs against Wydad Casablanca later that month before waiting another three weeks to play the final this past Saturday.
Following Baxter’s appointment last month, Chiefs have already unveiled several new signings who will now have to be incorporated into the squad that battled on the domestic front last term.
"For our supporters, I hope that they see that this is work in progress now and we are pushing in the right direction. How quickly we can do that will depend on a lot of things, not least that we will stick together, and the supporters feel motivated by this and will get behind the boys and make a real feast of it in the season to come," Baxter told the club's media.
"I think we have to do a proper debrief of the game [Champions League final]. The players have to do a proper debrief individually on their experience of the whole journey.
"We'll have to see where we are and why we couldn’t win, and what is the reason why the team only scrapped into the top eight [in the DStv Premiership].
"So, where are we lacking? The problem we have is that since we have had such a good run in CAF, we don’t have a lot of time to prepare, even if we get new players in. So, it is a little bit of a conundrum for us now, in terms of how many do we bring in and how quickly can we do it, and how much time do we have to turn that into a fighting unit.
"This – as we have seen with the cup results – is going to be work in progress for a while so we need to get back to the drawing board very quickly, take heart from the fact that we have done so well in CAF but realise that we have a little bit to go because there is a gap between the absolute top and where we are at the moment."
Scroll to see Baxter among the few foreign coaches to have won a PSL title since 1997