Soccer

Motaung responds to Kaizer Chiefs rumours linking Baxter and Ntseki to replace Hunt

Amakhosi are rumoured to have already entered into talks with their former coach earlier this week

Kaizer Chiefs marketing manager Jessica Motaung has reacted to the rumours that Stuart Baxter is set to return for a second spell at Naturena and will be assisted by Molefi Ntseki following Friday’s sacking of Gavin Hunt.

Widespread reports suggested Chiefs are close to reaching an agreement with Baxter to return for a second spell at Naturena.

The two have previously worked together at Bafana Bafana where Ntseki was Baxter’s assistant coach until August 2019.  

Motaung was coy in her response to the reports, telling Sowetan Live, “As you know, yesterday [on Friday] the club made an announcement regarding Gavin Hunt. As per the press release, future announcements will be made in due course.”

It is understood Amakhosi went into talks with the former Bafana Bafana coach earlier this week and the discussions intensified when Chiefs lost to Black Leopards on Wednesday, culminating in Hunt’s sacking two days later. 

In recent games, Chiefs lost Premier Soccer League games to relegation-haunted sides Chippa United, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Leopards. 

They also almost surrendered their 4-0 Caf Champions League quarter-final first-leg lead to Simba who beat them 3-0 in the return leg last Saturday. 

With results not coming Chiefs’ way, the relationship, between the club and Hunt is said to have been frosty especially in recent weeks despite the former Bidvest Wits tactician helping them reach a historic Champions League semi-final.  

Chiefs are currently five points above the PSL relegation zone. 

This saw the end of Hunt’s eight-month stint at Naturena where he never had the chance to sign his own players due to a Fifa transfer ban imposed on Amakhosi.  

Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane will be interim coaches until Chiefs confirm Hunt’s replacement. 

Chiefs have reportedly turned to Baxter, the last coach to deliver them a PSL title at the end of the 2014/15 season, after he also helped them to the 2012/13 league crown. 

Baxter has been unattached since February when he was fired by Indian Super League side Odisha FC following controversial statements. 

At the time he was fired, Odisha were anchoring the standings, having won just once in 14 league matches, all under Baxter, who joined them in June 2020.

Since then, they never recovered from the basement until football was suspended in India in March due to the coronavirus.

Ntseki on the other hand has been jobless since the end of March after he was fired as South Africa coach following his failure to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.  

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