Johannesburg - A potential banana skin lies in wait for Kaizer Chiefs when they take on Platinum Stars in their Telkom Knockout competition semi-final over the weekend, and coach Stuart Baxter has warned his troops about the dangers that Stars pose.
"Sometimes you get teams who do well in the cups and they’re not doing too well in the league, but Platinum Stars have proved that they’re a decent cup team," Baxter said at Chiefs’ training base on Wednesday.
Stars have already tasted success this season, having lifted the MTN8 title by beating Orlando Pirates in September.
The Rustenburg team lost their coach Cavin Johnson to fellow Premiership outfit SuperSport United before the start of the new season.
Baxter said Stars were able to go about their business quietly, without attracting much attention, while Chiefs were not as fortunate heading into the fixture.
"People thought that, after their coach left, their new coach wouldn’t be able to sustain their success," Baxter said.
"They’ve crept under the radar a little bit, so their players play a little bit more relaxed.
"They don’t have the pressures that maybe we do.
"That’s good for their confidence and they take advantage of it and the fact that they’re a well-organised team.
"They have good individual players and they’re a difficult proposition."
He said Dikwena were a well-run outfit and it would be vital for Chiefs to dominate from the outset, to prevent Stars from turning the game in their favour.
"We’ll have to be on our toes and give a good account of ourselves, otherwise we’ll be in trouble," Baxter said.
"One of the keys is possession of the ball against Platinum Stars.
"If you allow them good possession of the ball, they grow in confidence and they move the ball around quite well.
"If we have meaningful possession that moves them around, then we can get on the front foot and put them on the back foot."
The Amakhosi mentor was concerned over his team's lapses in concentration on defence.
"We tend to switch off and not pay enough attention to our shape and our basic defending all over the field," he said.
"I’ll be looking for a solid defensive performance, to build an attacking game that can give them problems."
Chiefs were boosted by the return of their Bafana Bafana internationals, but Baxter said it was a challenge phasing the players back into the team.
"It’s difficult because we got Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tefu Mashamaite back the other day, and this morning we get Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker, and Itumeleng Khune back," he said.