Kaizer Chiefs coach Baxter takes swipe at defence after Golden Arrows loss

11:02 AM WAT 20/03/2022
Stuart Baxter, coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
The Briton had to pull out a centre-back at halftime after he felt was some shambolic defending

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has blamed his defence following Saturday’s 1-0 Premier Soccer League defeat by Golden Arrows.

An early Knox Mutizawa goal sank Chiefs at home as they missed the opportunity to settle in second spot on the table.

Baxter pointed to his defence after the defeat and justified his decision to substitute Erick Mathoho at half-time when he replaced the lanky defender with Austin Dube.

Daniel Cardoso, Reeve Frosler and Njabulo Blom were also part of the back four, while Njabulo Ngcobo provided cover as a defensive midfielder.

“I thought the back-four as was obvious to see in the first half were totally out of sync,” said Baxter after the match.

“I'll have to look back at the video of the game again before I can give any more sweeping criticisms but we were not brave enough in terms of setting our line.

"We weren't well synchronised in terms of when we should drop and shift to getting our distances right.

“I think the confidence took a bit of a smack when we conceded such a bad goal. Then also it affects us when we're on the ball and we don't play positively. When we lose so many balls, from the back four who play so negatively it usually sets a tone.

“I just thought we've got to do something, and I don't usually substitute centre-backs because usually, that's not where the problem lies. But it did, especially in the first half. The back four especially in the first half were totally not in sync at all.”

Trying to provide more cover at the back later on in the game, Baxter substituted Phathutshedazo Nange for defender Siyabionga Ngezana.

Upfront, he took off Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly for Sabelo Radebe and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.

“Of course, we didn't get off to a good start. Of course, that's a body blow. Then we've got a hill to climb,” added Baxter.

“But I don't think we played with enough quality if I'm going to sum up the whole game. We didn't play with enough quality at any time, really. When you're not playing well with the ball then you end up going route one all of the time and that's not our game. Yes, you can play that way.”

Chiefs will now have a free weekend before visiting Chippa United on April 2.