Absa Premiership

Baxter mulls change of style

2015-02-04 13:18
Stuart Baxter (Supplied)
Stuart Baxter (Supplied)

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says he may be forced to change Amakhosi's playing style after the departure of regular striker Kingston Nkhatha.

"In our squad we do not have a player that is similar to Kingston," Baxter said in Naturena on Wednesday.

In a much-publicised move, Nkhatha jumped ship to SuperSport United during the January transfer-window period.

Baxter said the team was still trying to find answers to a number of burning issues.

"There are questions we are trying to figure out. Can we tweak a player in Kingston's mould to play main striker? Can Bernard Parker play that role? Do we change the shape and play with two or three strikers? We are still working on it."

With the offensive formation of Nkhatha as lone striker surrounded by attack-minded midfielders, Chiefs blitzed through the first-half of the season surging to a 15 points lead in the Premiership.

Having supported Nkhatha through a period of heckling by fans, Baxter said he had no hard feelings after the bulky striker abandoned ship.

"I defended him from the booing just like I would do with any of my players," Baxter said.

"Him leaving was a different issue because he was looking out for his future, which I can accept."

The former Bafana Bafana mentor believed there was still time to consider the various possibilities for his team's formation, but he would not rush the decision.

"All of the options I mentioned were possible. It's just a case of looking to see how we get going once the league resumes."

The recently-signed David Zulu would not be a direct replacement for Nkhatha, he said.

"David is in by no way the same player as Kingston. He has different qualities but he is a player in which we see a lot of potential.

"The plan is not to throw him into the deep end and expect him to swim with the sharks."

Amakhosi were the only unbeaten side in the league following 14 wins and four draws and, having gone undefeated, Baxter's thinking was not to set targets for the second half of the season.

"I'm not the kind of coach who aims for certain points in blocks of games. We go out and approach each game as it comes.

"It become dangerous when you start to count the number of games we've won."

The second half of the season would provide a tougher challenge for Amakhosi as they also compete in the CAF Champions League and the Nedbank Cup.

The log leaders would return to action in the league against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on February 11.

They open their continental account with a clash against Botswana's Township Rollers on February 14 at the FNB Stadium.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  stuart baxter  |  soccer
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