Billiat Opens Up On Baxter & Fans Criticism
Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat looks to be heading back to his best form again despite their indifferent start to the season and he’s now opened up about the criticism from fans and his true opinion on head coach Stuart Baxter.
Billiat joined Chiefs in a shock free transfer upon the expiry of his contract at Mamelodi Sundowns in July 2018 and was widely considered as one of – if not the best player in the South Africa top-flight when he made the switch.
But his high-profile transfer has yet to bring silverware back to the Soweto giants who are close to a seven-year drought within the 2021/22 camapign.
It hasn’t been the best start for Amakhosi but on a personal level, Billiat looks to be back to his usual self with three goals and three assists, starting all 11 games this season under head coach Stuart Baxter, who he lauds as one of the managers he’s always dreamed to work with during his career.
“He’s a great coach, he’s a coach that you know I’ve always wanted to work with because of while I’ve been hearing things from the guys who played under him before. I’ve also seen his team playing, it was always one of my dreams to play under him and now that I’m experiencing it and [being] part of the team it’s an overwhelming [feeling] man.,” Billiat said in an exclusive interview with iDiski Times.
“The coach knows exactly what we need and [he’s] leading us in a way that a player would appreciate. It’s something that always gives you extra motivation, you want to work harder, more running [when you are] working with him because he knows what to say to a player.
“He knows every individual, our weaknesses, our strengths and he always tries [his best], he’s always positive about his talks and he’s someone that always teaches you something. We’re grateful to have him at this moment and we appreciate him, we’ll never stop working hard for him. No matter how hard it can get sometimes, we always believe in his ways of training, tactics and philosophy.”
While Baxter has not yet earned the faith of the entire Amakhosi fanbase since his return, the 31-year-old has urged supporters to exercise patience as the team has yet to fully immerse themselves in his tactical philosophy – which he feels will inevitably bring success back to Naturena.
“It’s difficult to actually observe from a different perspective you know, from the outside [as fans]. We as players – we believe in the way he wants us to play, we’re still working on it, it hasn’t really become the way he wants it,” Billiat explained confidently.
“Slowly, we are getting there, we’re getting to understand the way he wants us to move, the way he wants us to play. Of course, the fans can always see and say some things because we haven’t gotten where we want to be you know.
“I’m sure they will appreciate the work when we get it right. We as players we’re working on it, it’s never easy. Good things never come easy and we trust the process and feel like we’re moving in the right direction.”
Chiefs return to DStv Premiership action on Sunday against Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium (17h30).
This is an extract of the Billiat interview conducted by our journalist Lorenz Köhler during the recent FIFA International break which can be read in the iDiski Times Edition 46.