Chiefs will be back - Baxter

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iol spt mar25 Baxter Gallo Images Stuart Baxter is plotting a comeback for next season after finishing empty-handed this time. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Johannesburg - Stuart Baxter says that league runners-up Kaizer Chiefs are considering taking their pre-season training camp to Europe to prepare the team for next season.

Dethroned as Premiership and Nedbank Cup champions in under a month, Amakhosi are determined to come back stronger next season and Baxter believes competitive friendly matches will do the trick for Chiefs, who were beaten to the league title by Mamelodi Sundowns.

“Somewhere in Europe maybe, but the UK is not a great destination for a training camp because the teams at that time are not in good shape, so it would not be very competitive. Spain is possible, we will see.

“We will try and pick our friendly games so that they can be competitive, so that we can prepare the team as well as we can. We will also have a training camp on home soil at Naturena,” Baxter said on Monday during the Carling Black Label Cup launch.

Chiefs struggled to cope with the hectic schedule with a small squad this season, and Baxter may look to strengthen the strike force if Knowledge Musona, on loan from German club Hoffenheim, does not stay with the team.

“With the schedule that we had at that time (after the loss to Sundowns in the league), we did not have the mental or physical energy to come back. Sundowns got a kick in the right direction. We have learnt our lessons from this season. We have not spoken yet about it yet, but we may lose Knowledge, or we may not lose Knowledge. Once we know what’s on the ground in terms of striking, we have to be more efficient next season.”

Itumeleng_Khune2 Keepers always gave coaches a headache when it came to who to play between the polls, former Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune said. Photo: Duif du Toit Gallo Images

Amakhosi captain Itumeleng Khune, meanwhile, is hoping the club will sign players after admitting that their squad is to small to compete in so many competitions. Chiefs were involved in five major competitions during the season, but could not deal with the schedule due to a lack in depth.

“We had a very small squad and we had to compete in five major competitions, and we were travelling the continent. We were fatigued. I am not going to use that as an excuse, but people need to know why things did not go well for us during the past season.

“When coach Baxter arrived he said he wanted to work with a small squad. He made it clear to management. But we did not see this coming, that we would have so many games in one season. We have been the most consistent team, but we have nothing to show for it.”

It’s the second time in three seasons Amakhosi finish a season without a trophy.

“We’re disappointed. We need to go back and regroup, we need to go for pre-season training and set new goals for the club.

“We need to contribute trophies, like the players of yesteryear. They used to win trophies every season, so for us it’s disappointing that we did not win anything. Next season we do not want to rely on other people to do the job for us.”

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