How Baxter rescued Chiefs from misery to climb the ladder

Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs headman Stuart Baxter is known as a coach with a great binocular vision when it comes to the field of play, and his record is a testament to that.

The British mentor has transformed the Glamour Boys, taking them away from the relegation zone to the top eight of the DStv Premiership.

While the Soweto giants have had it rough during the reign of Gavin Hunt, Baxter took over the reins to save the sinking ship.

Although his arrival was received with critics from various Amakhosi supporters, this didn’t hinder the ‘work-in-progress’ strategy for the 68-year-old to bring the glory days back to the gold and black outfit.

Baxter who failed to secure the continental’s prestigious CAF Champions League last year was close to losing his job as football fans called for his head.

However, for the ongoing 2021/22 season, tables have turned as the Amakhosi find themselves in the second position, with eight points behind the log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who still have a game in hand.

Unlike the previous season where the team qualified for the MTN8 with a leap of faith, this year, the Amakhosi are contesting for the Premier Soccer League title.

Following his departure in 2015, the Amakhosi have not secured the PSL title, and his return to the 8-time champions, Baxter is determined to reclaim the glory days at the Naturena.

Baxter’s record at the club level was well-documented as he helped Abafana Bok’thula noxolo to ace the PSL titles consecutive times in 2012/13, 2014/2015.

He also guided the club when they were honoured with two domestic cups, Nedbank Cup and the MTN8 Cup during his spell at the Glamour Boys.

This year, Baxter is again eyeing to bring joy to the hearts of Amakhosi fans, as he has gathered his pattern, this can be attributed to how Chiefs are winning back-to-back matches.

Since he has taken over, players such as Khama Billiat, Bernard Parker and Njabulo Blom are on top of their game, as they are now regulars in almost every match.

Billiat has regained his strength to contribute with the assists and finding back of the net.

The Zimbabwean international has been influential with 10 goal contributions in 13 appearances this term which has helped lift Amakhosi to second place on the standings.

His combination with the recent arrival of maestro midfielder Keagen Dolly, has seen the pair contribute massively for the Amakhosi.

Keagen Dolly and Khama Billiat. Picture: Twitter: @KaizerChiefs

Baxter has bought players which suit his style of play, bringing to an end an era that saw the Amakhosi struggling to retain their top position in the top flight.

As the team is hanging on the rope to climb to the higher rank, Chiefs is left with five games, before the PSL heads to the next window next year.

Here are five remaining games for Chiefs:

04 December

Kaizer Chiefs vs Cape Town City

08 December 

Golden Arrows vs Kaizer Chiefs

12 December 

Kaizer Chiefs vs Sekhukhune United

19 December 

Royal AM vs Kaizer Chiefs

22 December 

Kaizer Chiefs vs Maritzburg United

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