Baxter: It wasn’t what I expected when I returned to Chiefs.
Stuart Baxter, who was on his second spell with Kaizer Chiefs, was formally dismissed by Amakhosi back in April.
Kaizer Chiefs were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup earlier this season, and they had underperformed in the DStv Premiership, leaving Baxter stuck in fifth place.
Baxter has now indicated in an exclusive interview with SABC Sport that he believes the squad might have recovered to finish as Premiership runners-up.
One of the most heartbreaking situations from the previous season included supporters yelling obscenities at Baxter and demanding his firing, right before he was formally sacked.
It was a dramatic contrast to his first stay with the squad, which won four awards and two league crowns between 2012 and 2015. In his first interview since being dismissed, Baxter has explained why he returned to the club and why things did not go as planned.
“First of all, my history with Chiefs is something that I think is a bit special. It’s a got special part in my heart, and my experiences with Chiefs until coming back now was only positive…only filled with happiness, with passion, with motivation, with a relationship with supporters and the players I had worked with. So, that’s important that I made that point. That’s why I came back. That’s why I considered coming back because you try not to go back to places you have worked before.
“When I came back, I knew what had been going on before. I knew what happened before I came the first time, I knew what happened since I left and I just I got this passion to do what I could to put things right.
“To pull things back together again…so that’s the second point. And everything that had been said between me and Chiefs led me to believe that, that would be the case. So, coming back- a lot of work to do, not because coaches before me have not done the job properly. But because the circumstances there were still that there was an embargo (FIFA ban), then Covid.
“There were so many things…do we sign new players? Do we bring them from the academy, can we replace a new culture, can we do all of that and can we be successful and win something? So, that was what I was trying to do.
“When you don’t get to finish that, of course you are not happy. Of course, I’d have liked to continue and see what we could do. But I have to say, the conditions became not conducive for either me or Chiefs.
“So, we sat down and agreed to part company. And that is sad for me because of what I’ve just said. Therefore, I would have liked to continue because I think we could’ve finished Top 2 and I don’t where the table will finish now, but I just think that there’s a sadness for my side that we didn’t get to do that. It wasn’t the way I thought it would be when I actually came back. As things unfolded it wasn’t what I thought It would be.”
Chiefs will next be in action against Sekhukhune United, which will be followed by a final PSL game against Swallows.