Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs boss Stuart Baxter believes that Brilliant Khuzwayo proved his doubters wrong with a top drawer showing in the MTN8 final.
Read: Chiefs set to oust Maritzburg
Khuzwayo was forced to step into the spotlight when Amakhosi skipper Itumeleng Khune was forced to miss the Wafa Wafa finale due to an ankle injury.
While much was made of Khune's absence in the build-up to the game, Khuzwayo soon silenced any critics as he put on a Man of the Match performance as Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 to claim the silverware and a big payday.
Baxter says that he never doubted the 24-year-old had what it takes to shine at the highest level.
“We work every day with the players and we knew very well that we had both Reyaad (Pieterse) and Brilliant. Reyaad went in last year and played in the same situation and since we still had both of them we were confident that one of them would step up to the plate," Baxter has been quoted as saying.
“But now are you confident that he is going to get a Man of the Match performance, no, you are not. That is the same if it was a fullback.”
“This squad has to meet the challenges that are thrown in front of them. The challenge that Brilliant had was a special one because everybody was talking about Itu and that we miss Itu, even the Pirates camp was trying to wind up the pressure on him (Khuzwayo). Well, don’t they feel silly now?
“A lot of people feel silly now and have egg on their face because Brilliant gave a good performance but again I say that is what I expected from him because we work with him every day.
“We knew all along that just like everyone else, he was capable of feeling the heat from the derby and the final and a sort of semi-debut again. We thought he could give a performance and he stood by it.”
Meanwhile Chiefs will look to keep up their 100 percent start to the Absa Premiership season when they host Maritzburg United at the FNB Stadium.
Kick-off is at 20:15 on Saturday, September 27.
Sport24 will have LIVE scoring and interactive commentary on the PSL clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United. Click HERE.