Thursday, 20 February 2014

TOP SECRET: Stuart Baxter reveals how "digging in and winning ugly" has lifted Kaizer Chiefs to the top of the pile in South Africa

WWWWWINNER: Baxter won the PSL and
Nedbank Cup double at the first attempt
with Kaizer Chiefs last season
THE Stuart Baxter story gets better and better. Just like his table-topping Kaizer Chiefs, who are unbeaten since last Fireworks Day, November 5, 2013. That's THIRTEEN games in all competitions.

Speaking on my BOLLOCKZ! football show on today  (see video below), the 60-year-old from Wolverhampton admitted his side could play a lot better than they did on Wednesday night when they overcame tricky Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 with two cracking goals from Bernard Parker and Knowledge Musona.

Former South Africa national coach Baxter, who last season became the first foreign boss to win the PSL in his first season in charge, finds himself nine points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the table and freely admits he has taught his side to "win ugly".

When I put it to him that my awful beard will continue to grow unmolested until the AmaKhosi's astonishing WWWWWWWWWDW finally features an L, Baxter laughed: "Winning makes the wind blow at your back, not in your face."

Despite a few telephonic problems, Baxter battled on to tell us: "Big leads have been blown before and they will be blown again in the future. If you can look at the mirror at the end of the season and look at that face without throwing up, you can't do any more!

"We shouldn't make the job any easier for the opposition by being Big-Time Charlies. We can't get carried away. We do our work, I try to take the pressure off as much as I can. Let's see where that takes us.

"But I know with the African Champions League running alongside the domestic competitions, it could be difficult. We've seen it in Europe, where teams competing on the continent end up struggling at home."

But the secret ingredient of Baxter's success? THIS: "There are certain things we take for granted in Europe. Digging in, winning a game ugly. That's not really part of the language of the beautiful game in Africa.

"At Chiefs, we all dig in, get the points. That gives us that little bit of extra confidence, extra belief. We can go a goal down and come back to take the points."

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