Absa Premiership

Baxter: It's difficult to defend PSL title

2016-05-16 09:39
Stuart Baxter (Supplied)

Cape Town - Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter argues that the pressure of carrying the defending league champions' tag makes it hard to retain the title with the other 15 clubs gunning for you.

Baxter has played a tug-of-war for the Absa Premiership with Pitso Mosimane's Mamelodi Sundowns in the past three seasons after he led Amakhosi to league glory in the 2012/13 campaign in his first return since managing Bafana Bafana in 2004 to 2005.

Sundowns took that title from Chiefs the following season, with Baxter reclaiming it in style when he led the Chiefs in their record breaking campaign last season.

Mosimane has won it back, with Baxter away from the country in the first half of the season - returning in January to lead SuperSport United.

Now that Sundowns have been crowned 2015/16 league champions, the question is can they successfully defend it next season.

"There are a couple of reasons why teams haven't been able to defend the league in the past three seasons," Baxter told Vodacom Soccer.

"One is the fact that you then go out into Africa, into the big wide world of CAF football. No matter how we spin it around, there are greater demands from that team that results in physical and mental fatigue and the pressure of carrying the hopes of the country.

"Is it impossible to retain the league? Off course it's not. But it is a big ask. The second one is that now that you have won the league, in some way you are now the hunted not the hunter.

"That role changes hands, first it was Chiefs, then it was Sundowns, then Chiefs and now Sundowns. That's the way it is. There are a few reasons but I don't think that it is impossible. It demands a lot more from the squad."

Read more on:    supersport united  |  psl  |  stuart baxter  |  soccer
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