“I’m prepared to work until the last ball is kicked,” said Baxter.
“That’s what I’m paid for, and that’s what the players are paid for. They shouldn’t be be too ready to put all their eggs in one basket. This is a game that we want to win, but if we have to go until the last kick of the ball we’ll do that as well.”
Whatever happens, Baxter said Chiefs would be approaching the midweek game much like a cup final.
“I can’t say that a game where you have the chance to win the Championship, if you then win the Championship, that the rest of the games are as important.
“The first thing you want is to keep both eyes on the Polokwane game, and then whatever comes after that.”
Overcoming Polokwane could prove a potentially tricky encounter as the team are behind only Orlando Pirates and Sundowns in goals scored this season as they occupy ninth spot on the log.
Baxter said only a clinical performance from his troops would be enough to get over the line.
“We need to do the job properly. I’ve done analysis of Polokwane. I did one last night that took me three and a half hours and I still come to the conclusion that whatever we do, whatever gameplan we come up with we have do it properly.”
Coach Kosta Papic has asked his Polokwane side to play high-risk football all season, which has seen them concede the highest number of goals in the league.
“They’ve taken more risks than probably people thought they would,” said Baxter.
“Kosta [Papic] has asked them to play risky football, that’s why they have had some results where they’ve got smacked and some results where they’ve surprised big time. It’s a bit of gambling.”
Tactically, Baxter said he had considered a more defensive gameplan but hinted the focus would be on the execution of his charges.
“I was looking at changing the shape of the team to combat the fact that they are quite efficient when they attack centrally. During the analysis, I came to the conclusion that the majority of the chances they get is when you lose the ball.”
In contrast to last season, where Chiefs fell away towards the end of the season as Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions, the Soweto side were ready to take their final march towards glory this time.
“Mentally I think the lads are an experience richer,” said Baxter.
“They could look back and see where they were wound up, or too tight. Those small adjustments can be enough. We’ve ground out a couple of results at the right time, and that’s just down to our experience last time.”
At the same time on Wednesday, Sundowns host Platinum Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium but the result could ultimately mean nothing if Chiefs garner a likely win. – ANA
Original source: Baxter wants Chiefs to be clinical