Baxter leaps to Cole Alexander's defence

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has leapt to the defence of Cole Alexander after the midfielder saw red against AmaZulu on Wednesday.

The Amakhosi were held to a 1-1 draw by AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium in a tightly-contested match in which both teams were reduced to ten men.

Chiefs held a first-half lead through an own goal by former player Keagan Buchanan but themselves up against the odds after Alexander was dismissed for two bookable offences with around an hour played.

The 32-year-old's exit from the match proved to be the turning point as Bongi Ntuli equalised for Usuthu soon after, but Baxter refused to lay blame at the feet of his veteran midfielder.

"It's difficult, isn't it? Happy [Mashiane] got a red [in the 2021 CAF Champions League final] against Al Ahly and that changed the game," he said.

"Red cards do change the game but you don't want to take out the commitment from players, but you have to manage it.

"When I came here the first time around, Willard Katsande was arguably a hooligan on the football field but he changed, and he managed it, and we got him a role.

"Cole plays a little bit on the edge but he has energy and we like that about him, but we've got to manage it. But as for the game, we were losing control of the game even with 11 men. I didn't like our performance.

"I think the hectic nature of the game drew that foul. I have no issue with the two yellow cards for Cole but I'm just looking at some of the other fouls or situations that the referee let go and then it becomes a little bit more questionable.

"But we have to work on our players and make sure we stay on that line of being competitive and not overstepping it and getting yellow cards."

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