Stuart Baxter Maritzburg preview

On Amakhosi after the return from international duty:

These FIFA breaks are sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse. We come up with a good result in the Derby and I think everybody would really like to just kick on. We have quite a few players going away for national duty. Sometimes they play, sometimes they don’t play, and they come back and they’ve got a little bit to do. Every coach would prefer to have their players together all the time. It knocks you back a little bit. But the lads worked hard, took a day or so to get back in the groove, and then they’ve been working at their game. The last few days we’ve been working specifically on the Maritzburg game.

 

On Chiefs’ six players who have returned from international duty:

It takes them a while. They maybe have a different position, maybe have a different game plan. Maybe it puts them up in the clouds a little bit when they’re with their national team. When they come back, they’ve got to calm down again. Given all of those things, I think our lads are usually quite good, they get back to work properly.

 

On facing Maritzburg United:

We know Maritzburg quite well, we know their players quite well. We know that Ernst is a coach that likes to surprise and change things up to suit the opponent. You have to go into the Maritzburg game knowing the principles that they use and knowing the possibilities that can happen. And then you have to really create a game plan that we can change if we need to ratchet it up to kill the game.

 

On Maritzburg as a Chiefs hoodoo team:

Hopefully, the players look at it as this is a new year, a new team, new circumstances and therefore history shouldn’t be a burden. Even when I was around at Chiefs the first time, we won a few, but Maritzburg was always a difficult game. The same when I was at SuperSport. It’s not one where you just go there and it’s just a walk in the park. That never happens and I’m not expecting that. We’ve told the players if we want to take our season forward, then we’ve got to get better and not standstill. So we’ve worked on a few things we hope we can focus on and put energy into and hopefully that focus will remove the focus away from previous results.

 

On Chiefs’ injury situation:

We’ve got a few players back in full training. We’ve got Lebo (Manyama), Leo (Castro) and Siya (Ngezana) that have been out for quite a long time, now back in full training. Leo is travelling with us. We think he can play a part from the bench, possibly as an impact player. Lebo and Siya have got a little bit left, but we are pleased that they are back in with us. We’ve lost a few players, S’fiso Hlanti to injury with Njabulo Blom and Sbusiso Mabiliso both being unavailable.