Derbies rarely produce - Baxter
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Derby games seldom live up to expectations, according to Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, in the wake of a dull goalless draw in the much-anticipated clash between Amakhosi and Orlando Pirates.
Chiefs maintained their lead at the top of the Premiership table, five points clear of title holders the Buccaneers, after the stalemate at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
“I'd have liked to transmit a better quality game, especially the passing game," Baxter said.
"I do think the people watching could have seen that the players worked very hard.”
Baxter believed derbies all over the world suffered from the same problem, following all the hype in the build-up to the Soweto fixture.
“Whenever you've got an important derby game... if you take Manchester United against Manchester City, or AC Milan against Inter, you take any big derby, very rarely do they do justice do the size of the event.
“I've seen very few really good derby games. Usually they're a little bit blood and thunder. I don't think this one really took off in that respect. There were a bit of nerves there and a little bit of fatigue.”
Baxter said the pressure may have got to the players on both sides.
“I've never seen so many good players giving the ball away. The passing game on both sides was erratic. I think that's why it was more end to end, because the transitions were giving each other opportunities.”
With Pirates holding a game in hand, Baxter insisted he would only focus on his own team's performances.
“I know everybody asks, when we play and Pirates play, if we are sitting glued to the TV, and hoping they're going to lose. I have to say, I don't want any of our players to have that attitude. We don't become a better team if Pirates lose.
"We become a better team if we work hard at our own game, and we become an over-optimistic team sometimes if they lose or drop points.
"It's the same for us. They don't suddenly become 10 classes better if we concede two goals.”