Baxter rues ‘wretched’ defending

George Maluleka’s opener was cancelled out by Jeremy Brockie’s fine finish on 84 minutes, yet William Twala would have the last say, banging home the winner one minute from time to give Amakhosi maximum points.

Baxter was pleased with his side’s overall performance, but knew his side had to take their chances in the tightly-contested match-up.

“I think we did very, very well in the first half, and dominated,” he told SuperSport after the match. “We opened a bit sloppily in the second but we got back into the game, and I thought we were playing well. We gave at least as good as what we were getting. We created two big chances, and had we taken one of them, they would have been in trouble.”

The Englishman reacted angrily after watching his side’s sloppy defence allow Siphiwe Tshabalala acres of space to set up Maluleka for the opener, and was left livid after conceding the first goal.

“Our defending was wretched,” he said. “We work so hard on our defending distances and people pressing the ball properly. When we lose the ball, we drop into some sort of panic, and it was probably one of the few times in the game, that we did very well. So I reacted because that is what decides games in the end.”

The former Chiefs coach has endured an inconsistent run since taking over in Pretoria, and knows his side can improve despite giving the reigning champions a run.

“Progress and stability – that’s all we need,” he said. “I think the players have done well in almost every game, but not for the full 90 minutes. We had a little bit of a switch off when there’s a little bit of a panic, and if we last that happen, out opponents can hurt us.

“When Chiefs go back and look at the DVD of tonight, I think they’ll say, ‘We were a bit lucky to get away with that one’. So it’s progress for us, but is it enough? No, we need to get more.”

Matsatsantsa are now 10th on the PSL log, with 24 points from 20 matches played.

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