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Baxter Defends Low-Scoring Nurkovic

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has defended Samir Nurkovic, who is yet to score for Amakhosi this campaign.

The striker had been linked with a move away from Naturena during the recent transfer window, with Al Ahly among the clubs who were said to be interested.

Some have also questioned whether Nurkovic’s qualities suit the quick-transition style Baxter wants to play at Chiefs.

The Englishman has admitted that Nurkovic needs a goal to regain his full confidence but he still backing him because he gets into the right positions and is doing well for the team.

“I think yes absolutely, Samir is not necessarily in a crisis, but he is a striker who lives and has lived for the whole of his career with goals as the gold standard,” Baxter told local media.

“Even if he is playing well for the team at the moment and even if he is getting to goalscoring positions himself at the moment, he is not tucking them away.

“And that displeases him immensely and it causes him frustration and therefore, yes, he is waiting for that goal to ease the pressure on himself, so I think that is a definite.

“Now, what do I do? I have spoken to him individually, I’ve tried to reassure him that as long as he is working hard and as long as he is opening for other people then he is still doing a good job in that aspect, then he is still doing a good job for the team. 

“But the point when it becomes a problem, where I think he needs to take a step back then I will rest him by putting him on the bench or I’ll rest him completely.

“That’s the only tools that we have as coaches, we can talk to him, give him another run until it comes to a point when I think I should rest him now because he’s not doing himself of the team any good, then we’ll do that.

“At the moment I’m thinking one goal will change the whole thing. If he wasn’t getting into these goalscoring positions, then I’d be closer to resting him because he needs to take a step back, regroup and go again.

“At the moment with him getting into some good positions so he is doing a good job for the team, and I think we should have that little bit of patience.”

Nurkovic has another chance at find the back of the net when Amakhosi host Royal AM on Saturday.

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