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Football | Absa Premiership

Stuart Baxter © Backpagepix

Baxter wary of Tuks



Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is certainly not underestimating the University of Pretoria, but he is expecting his troops to set the pace when the two meet in an Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 18h00 (CAT, SA, GMT+2).

Despite topping the league standings since the start of the season, Baxter admits it would be a huge disappointment if his side threw everything away two games before the league break, but he is expecting no easy game against AmaTuks.

“It is very important (to finish the year strong). We have gone to the top of the league from when the first ball was kicked. We won 6-0 in the first game and that was us top and we have stayed there,” explains the Amakhosi coach.

“It has been a good performance by the players to achieve that, it has not always been pain-free, but to do that and then slip up at the half way stage would be unfortunate.”

Looking at his sides next match he has expressed how he would like to see his team dominate the match, especially at home and irrespective of Tuks impressive away record.

The University side has won four of their seven away games thus far this season and have only lost once on the road.

“I have been quite impressed by them (Tuks),” adds Baxter. “They have been a well organised team, physically strong, work for each other, apply themselves well and they don’t give up easily.

“It is a team that you know when you play them you are going to get a battle. We are preparing for a really tough game.

“It is in our stadium and we should feel that we need to drive the game. We should hold the tempo of the game, but we are going to have to work really, really hard and it will be a challenge.”

“They (Tuks) are more confident away from home. They see us as a scalp and we have to make sure that we don’t make any sort of mental slip-up,” concluded the Chiefs mentor.

A win for Chiefs on the weekend would guarantee that they finish the year on top of the pile. Currently the Amakhosi have 31 points from 14 matches with their closest rival, in Orlando Pirates, three points back.

Tuks, though, will be eager to see their impressive away form continue while at the same time putting a dent in Chiefs’ title ambitions, according to the University of Pretoria midfielder Aubrey Ngoma

“We respect Kaizer Chiefs as big team, but we will go there and apply ourselves and believe that anything is possible in football. The guys are ready for the game on Saturday,” says Nogoma.

“At the start of the season every player was looking forward to playing against the big teams in the Premiership and Kaizer Chiefs are no exception.

“The coach doesn’t have to motivate players, they always get motivated to play against big teams like Kaizer Chiefs.”

At present Tuks are fifth in the league table in their maiden season in the PSL with 21 points, but a win on Saturday could see them move into fourth spot which will be a huge motivator for Steve Barker’s men.

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