Baxter Responds To ‘Chiefs Lack Ambition’ Claims

Author: Lorenz Kohler
 | Date: February 2, 2022

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter admits the club cannot compete with Mamelodi Sundowns in the transfer market.

Chiefs secured seven new contract extensions on transfer deadline day but their only addition to the squad was the loan return of Keletso Sifama from Pretoria Callies.

Having signed nine players in the off-season, Chiefs have notably not closed the gap in quality to Mamelodi Sundowns as they trail the league leaders by 16 points – albeit with three games in hand, which Baxter understands the supporters are right to be disgruntled about.

“I think it’s easy to have these perceptions [no ambition], given what’s going on. So I can’t say I don’t understand what the supporters are feeling,” Baxter told journalists at the Nedbank Cup launch on Tuesday evening.

“I can’t say I don’t understand but I can assure them there’s a lot more [that] goes on in terms of targeting in people, getting knocked back, realising that in the open market there’s one club that holds all the trump cards.

“So if we’re interested in a player they’re interested in, pretty much, the chances are that he’s going there. So we have to be smart then in recruitment and I think we’ve tried to do that and probably what’s been available to us – we worked out that at this moment in time it won’t build that gap between us and Sundowns.”

The former Bafana Bafana boss says the market hasn’t been ideal for Amakhosi but denied it’s over a lack of ambition and confirmed he would bring up the issues in their technical team meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

“So in that respect, I don’t think it’s a lack of ambition but realism hitting home. Now I think we need to keep on working on that,” he continued.

“We need to do that for two reasons; one because that’s what an ambitious football club does and two, we have to keep sending signals to supporters that we’re not resting on our laurels or waiting for next year to come around, that we’re active in the market. 

“I can assure everyone there has been that conversation but I’ll be having a meeting tomorrow actually to do a debrief on what’s gone on in this window. That would be my answer to the supporters, that I do understand them.

“If you had said to me, would it be nice to get a Teboho Mokoena in, yeah it would have been nice because I believe that our squad is developing and some individuals are developing.

“But you can always use the injection of a player and that has a price and is he better than what you have etc etc – what do you pay for him, what you’re getting.”

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