Absa Premiership

Chiefs coach 'not happy'

2014-09-14 14:30
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Despite extending their winning streak in all competitions to nine matches, Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter was "not happy" after the 2-1 Absa Premiership win over University of Pretoria on Saturday.

"The team played up to the level of which they are capable for only about 20 minutes of the match," said Baxter.

"This has been our one failure this season - an inability to sustain their effort and keep up the pressure for the full 90 minutes."

Amakhosi dominated the opening 45 minutes, but led only 1-0 at halftime courtesy of a Reneilwe Letsholonyane strike.

AmaTuks equalised from the penalty spot soon after the break and Chiefs only secured the three points in the 69th minute as Letsholonyane capped his brace at the FNB Stadium.

The scrappy win maintained Chiefs' 100 percent record having each of the six matches in the league.

Baxter said the inconsistency nearly came back to bite them against the university club.

"We started easing up and it nearly cost us a point against the battling opposition."

It was possible that the players had one eye on the MTN8 final against Orlando Pirates in Durban on Saturday, he said.

"Perhaps it was the fact that the players already had their minds on this week-end's needle derby clash.

"Or perhaps they are now taking victory for granted after the string of successes and subconsciously easing up when in the lead and becoming complacent.

Baxter defended the decision to recall a string of previously injured stars like Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Morgan Gould in the starting line-up.

"These players needed match practice after their absence. It was important to give them this match practice before the final against Pirates, when they might be required to make an impact."

Letsholonyane, who was named man of the match, accredited his exceptional form of late to being in the right frame of mind.

"I will just carry on giving my best in every game I play and take whatever comes," he said.

AmaTuks coach Steve Barker said it was not easy coming up against a team like Chiefs who have no apparent weaknesses.

"I think my players might have been in awe at the start. I told them at half time, we were only one goal behind and still in with a chance.

"It seemed to have an effect and we put up a much better performance in the second period and came close to securing a draw."

Barker said he had no serious concerns despite his team slipping to 12th place on the Premiership table.

"I know we are capable of holding our own with any side in the league, and we showed this in the second half."

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

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