Soccer

Kaizer Chiefs coach Baxter does not understand his players – Makhanya

After Amakhosi lost to Royal AM on Saturday, the ex-Buccaneers attacker has had a go at the Briton’s way of doing things

Former Orlando Pirates star Joseph Makhanya thinks Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter’s tactics are “a confusion” and he is being “suicidal” by imposing them on players who do not suit his type of play.

The Soweto giants were thumped 4-1 by Royal AM at home on Saturday, a result which came on the backdrop of losing 2-0 away at Mamelodi Sundowns the previous weekend.

Makhanya has narrowed Chiefs’ difficult run down to Baxter’s game plan which he says shows that he does not appreciate the type of players he has.

“It’s a confusion of tactics and approach. The tactics do not suit the kind of players he has. It will definitely lead to frustration on the players’ part,” Makhanya told iDiski TV.

“The coach does not understand his players, what it is they have at their disposal so that he can use it to the team’s benefit and strengthen it. What he is doing is suicidal for players. The more you lose games, the more you will start losing confidence in players. 

“Here we are talking about players who strive on confidence like [Khama] Billiat and [Kgaogelo] Sekgota. But once you start employing wrong tactics, you are killing the players’ confidence. 

“One thing as a coach, you look at the type of players you have. You try to accommodate the talent they bring at your disposal and not impose what you normally know. 

“This is a situation of the coach imposing what he knows and now it becomes problematic. When players are not responding to your tactics, it tells you something as a coach. It tells you that as a coach, your job and duty is to get the best out of your players.

“Your players function according to their strengths. You have so many ball players.  My biggest worry is the style of play he is trying to impose on the type of players he has currently.”

Most notably in Chiefs’ difficult patch is striker Samir Nurkovic’s goal drought.

The Serb has started all four league games but is yet to find the back of the net.

With Nurkovic starting as a left-sided forward this season, Makhanya feels Baxter is “killing” the player who he feels should play as a number nine.

“There is nothing wrong playing according to Nurkovic’s strengths,” added Makhanya.

“But let other players create chances for him because you have creative players. You have Billiat, Lebo [Manyama], Sekgota, [Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and [Keagan] Dolly.

“Those are creative players, so let them create for Nurkovic. Play him as a target man and not in the space of creative players. There is nothing wrong playing with a target man. But place him right upfront. He is becoming frustrated now because he is not scoring.

“Nurkovic is in the wrong space. Play him as your target man, then allow players around him to create for him. He is not a creative player. At the end of the day, people will start doubting Nurkovic because of the coach’s tactics which are killing the player. He now finds himself having to dribble past people yet he is not a dribbler.”

Up next for Chiefs is a visit to Marumo Gallants.

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