We played well in patches, says Baxter
Having reclaimed their place at the top of the Premiership table, Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter believed his side had done well to earn a 2-1 win over Black Leopards at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening, but he still wanted to see more from his outfit.
Amakhosi moved two points clear of Maritzburg United at the summit of the standings after the replayed game against Leopards, which had initially been called off in the first half due to a hailstorm on Saturday night.
“I thought that we played well in patches,” Baxter said.
“If you could put together the good patches of the game, I think that we played very well.
“Unfortunately its was laced with a lot of things that we don’t usually do.
“Our possession wasn’t as good as it usually is, we didn’t make transitions count the way we usually do, and I thought in the first half we gambled a lot with the ball, which gave our opponents some transitions, and they were livelier this evening than they were in the first game.” Chiefs were leading 2-0 when the officials called off the match at the weekend, and Baxter was relieved to have picked up three points from the fixture.
“I’m pleased with the three points. Since the game was cancelled, you’ll know I was very apprehensive about this one,” he said.
“The way we had to play the game again, it meant that the players, in their heads somewhere, thought that, ’well we dominated the first one, maybe this will be an easy game’.
“This was what I was apprehensive about.” While Amakhosi came away with the win, courtesy of a first-half Bernard Parker penalty and a well-taken Siphiwe Tshabalala strike, Baxter was disappointed to concede a late strike when Abbas Amidu netted a volley with two minutes left.
“I would have loved to see 2-0 and not 2-1,” said the former Bafana Bafana boss.
“I think Itu (Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune) deserved a shut-out tonight because I thought he was tremendous.
“Without making a real save, he was solid because he was under a lot of pressure with crosses and he was under a lot of pressure with his kicking.
“If I was him, I’d ask the lads next time to keep working until the last minute.” Baxter added that the players may have fallen prey to complacency late in the tie and he believed there would be plenty to work on for the rest of the week as the league takes a short break for Saturday’s MTN8 cup final between Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United.
“I would say if you clipped up some of our play, it was top class,” Baxter said.
“There’s work to be done all over the field, that’s the interesting part of it.
“I would not rate our performance today, over 90 minutes, as the sort of performance that we want to be giving.
“In some aspects we played really well, but I wouldn’t put that down as our best performance because it wasn’t for 90 minutes.”