IF Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is active on social media, then he must have spent the entire Sunday night and yesterday going through criticism levelled against him by irate Amakhosi fans.
In his post match interview, the Scot admitted to Chiefs’ poor defending, which allowed Mamelodi Sundowns to hit them twice, subjecting them to a 2-0 DStv Premiership defeat at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.
Baxter stressed his players made a costly mistake by waiting for Downs to come at them for 15 minutes, giving them the confidence to attack.
The former Bafana Bafana mentor was heavily criticised by fans on social media for his selection criteria, as he continued to bench a quality defender like Njabulo Ngcobo who was doing well before he left Swallows FC.
But the coach was also not pleased that winger Lebogang Manyama took a penalty when he still lacks confidence after returning from injury.
Twitter went abuzz from Sunday until yesterday when Baxter trended for all the wrong reasons. Although some are on his side, the majority are already questioning his tactics.
“I was pleased with the quality of our performances, but not happy with the goals conceded,” said Baxter.
But social media sports commentator Shakes Rampedi said: “I can’t believe Chiefs have a quality player like Njabulo Ngcobo and he doesn’t play... I would love to ask Stuart Baxter, why? Probably should have gone back on loan to Swallows FC.”
However, Baxter believes they opened the game well but “the (first) goal came out of the blue due to the miserable defending”.
“We played passively for 15 minutes waiting for Sundowns (to attack),” said Baxter.
“We played long balls getting the job done. We came out in the second half, changed the way we’re going to press them and we got them penned in.
“But the second goal killed the game and forced me to make changes to try to get us a goal.”
On Manyama, here’s why Baxter wouldn’t have allowed him to take the kick: “We have four or five penalty takers. When they’re on the field and say they don’t want to take it, then I’ve got little control over where the responsibility goes. I think you (Manyama) should listen to the players who have confidence to take it. If I was one of the players on the field, I would have pushed Lebo away.
“He’s only just come back from injury and I don’t think it’s fair to give him that responsibility. But Lebo is a character, he gets on the ball and feels like ‘I will score this’.”
Piletji Sebola wrote on his Twitter page: “Baxter should consider relegating Samir Nurkovic to the bench.
“It looks like the transfer talk to Egyptian league has unsettled him. As to why goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma failed to deal with that ball that resulted into the first goal for Sundowns is beyond comprehension.”
Themba_le wrote: “I saw him on the bench eating Easter egg instead of marshalling our defence...”
Ta_Fitty said: “I want to apologise to Chiefs fans who were against the return of Baxter, I know I supported his return. I’m sorry.”
However, Khani_hlahla came to Baxter’s defence: “Chiefs are playing good football, creating chances, missed easy goals, conceded weak goal but some people you’d swear they are watching the game on microwave, all in their heads is Baxter, Baxter, Baxter.”
The Soweto giants will be determined to put their misery behind them when they prepare for their next league clash against rookies Royal AM at FNB Stadium on Saturday (5pm).