Absa Premiership

Baxter lauds Chiefs players

2013-05-26 14:43
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Durban - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter highlighted the attitude of his players as one of the key reasons the club clinched the double this season after they won the Nedbank Cup in Durban on Saturday.

A clever finish by Bernard Parker early in extra-time helped Amakhosi edge to a 1-0 victory over SuperSport United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The scores were locked at 0-0 after regulation time, before the Bafana Bafana forward struck, handing the Soweto club the title for the 13th time in their history, and the first in seven years.

GALLERY: Chiefs win Nedbank Cup

“If you look back at the season as a whole, I’ve got to look back and think we’ve done a decent job,” Baxter said after the game.

“The players brought in the principles we wanted to from the beginning and they stuck to it, even though we were sort of dragging ourselves over the line towards the end of the season.

He said playing against SuperSport was tough as Gavin Hunt's teams were always very organised.

“We had problems in the first half -- they were pressing us down one side and we didn’t open the field. But as soon as we started to open things up better in the second half, then the game started to turn.”

It ended a fine first season in charge for Englishman Baxter, who last week guided Chiefs to their first Absa Premiership crown in eight seasons.

The double also meant it was the first time in the PSL era that Amakhosi had won two of South Africa’s biggest competitions -- the last time they won the championship and FA Cup crown was in 1992.

“I'm immensely proud of my players after this season, and what they were able to achieve in a cup final,” Baxter said.

“If someone had told me at the start of the season we would win the double I'd ask them how much they've been drinking?

"You’ve got to be happy to come to a club and win the double in your first year.”

Baxter’s counterpart Hunt felt the defeat was extremely harsh on his side, particularly after they lost a second final in the same year.

The Pretoria side, also the defending champions, lost the MTN8 final at the start of the season.

“To come so far, two cup finals and a semi-final, and win nothing this season is disappointing,” the Matsatsantsa coach said.

“But we ran them close and I thought before they scored, we had three really good chances of our own. You got to take your chances against a team like Chiefs.”

Hunt, who was reportedly in charge for the last time ahead of an expected move to Wits, paid tribute to the new champions.

“They been the best side this season for me, Stuart’s got them going again, so all credit to him.

“They certainly have the individual players, who can win them games and they did that tonight.”

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  nedbank cup  |  psl  |  stuart baxter  |  soweto  |  soccer

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