Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says his
players are relishing the role of being the hunters as opposed to the hunted in
this season's Premiership title race.
Read: Chiefs form 'temporary' – Modise
"Last year we were trying to defend our title. This
time around we are the hunters," Baxter said in Johannesburg on Friday.
"It's a different scenario compared to last season. We
have all played the same number of games."
The former Premiership champions found the pressures of
being defending champions too heavy a burden when they relinquished the title
last season to Mamelodi Sundowns. Amakhosi gave up a nine point lead during the
home stretch to surrender the championship to their arch rivals.
They meet the Sundowns on Saturday at the FNB Stadium where
they would be looking to make enforce their intentions.
"Our target for the rest of the year is to collect more
points than anyone else," Baxter said.
"For us this is the most important issue. We have had a
good start, but we know that it's not over until the fat lady sings."
The log leading Amakhosi have been in fine form in the
Premiership have recorded a near perfect start with nine wins out of 10 league
With a significant portion of players having been on
national team duty for the past two weeks, Baxter believed it would add value
to the club.
"The international break won't affect us, it's all in
the mind. We are proud to have our players selected for the national team.
"That experience of international football is good for
Bafana Bafana returned to the country on Thursday after a
2-2 draw against Nigeria in the last of their group A Afcon qualifiers.
Fearing fatigue and a lack of sharpness, Baxter said he
would make the final starting 11 decision after training on Friday afternoon.
"I'll assess the players who come from national duty
and will make a decision after that."
Chiefs' fans would be sweating the fitness of captain
Itumeleng Khune, who had been sidelined for two months with a foot injury.
"Itu has trained hard but there is still some work to
do. It's a situation of one step forward and three steps backwards."
Sundowns have had a lukewarm start to their title defence,
having won four matches, lost two and drawn four.
The Brazilians would be aiming to hand Amakshosi their first
loss in the league, and begin their climb up from fifth position on the table.
Kick-off is at 15:30.