Baxter has some tough choices ahead


Baxter led SuperSport to the Nedbank Cup semi-final triumph over Baroka FC to book a date with Pirates in the final to be played in Polokwane on May 28.

Before that Baxter has to lead his men against the Bucs in their final Absa Premiership match on Saturday. Both matches are important for Baxter and SuperSport as a win in the league may help them secure a top eight finish while a win in the cup final will be a glorious moment for the coach and his men.

Baxter has dubbed the two clashes back-to-back finals.“We were hoping the top eight would have been secured before going to the Pirates game.

It was going to be a chance to rest some of the players before an eventual final. Now we have two cup finals so I have to decide whether I am going to change the team, change the shape in an effort to surprise them maybe and keep something in the back pocket for the final,” said Baxter after Saturday's 2-0 win.

“Maybe I will be too clever for myself or maybe I will fall flat on my face. I don’t know. I haven’t decided. That’s the challenge I have got. I have some tough decisions to make. It will be easier if I know the fitness levels of players like Dove Wome. Dean Furman picked up a little knock, Thuso (Phala) has a bad shoulder and (Clayton) Daniels too.

I want to know. In a couple of days I will make bigger decisions. That’s the challenge we have got.”For SuperSport to reach the final, it’s a massive thing considering the season they have had. Baxter is pleased with the feat and is obviously hoping they can go all the way to glory against Pirates. And he is only too aware of the threat posed by Eric Tinkler’s men.

“We are delighted that we get to right a few wrongs that have gone on this year. We are all looking forward to it. Pirates are a good team. They play very quickly. They are a good side, especially a good cup side.

"They showed this in the African tournament. So it will be two difficult games. "Eric has done better with Pirates and I think they are a difficult side to play against, especially in cups,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs coach.

Baroka, who are on the verge of PSL promotion, have now lost two in a row after the mid-week defeat to Africa Warriors, and their confidence might be down but despite the setbacks, coach Kgoloko Thobejane is confident that his men will do well in their final match to make it to the PSL.

“Losing two games in a row is a concern but it's not the end of the world. "We can easily go through this type of challenge.”

The Star

Original source: Baxter has some tough choices ahead