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’He’s working hard, I can’t take the responsibility’: Stuart Baxter on Keegan Dolly’s improvement

Keegan Dolly celebrates goal with teammate Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United on the 16 October 2021 at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Keegan Dolly celebrates goal with teammate Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United on the 16 October 2021 at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Oct 18, 2021

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Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has credited attacker Keagan Dolly for the hard yards that he has put in to shed some weight following his outstanding display during their 4-0 Premiership victory over Chippa United on Saturday.

After a frustrating four-year spell in France’s Ligue 1, playing for Montpellier, where he was troubled by injuries, Dolly heeded the call to come back to South Africa, joining Amakhosi on a three-year deal.

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But his weight gain also attracted attention.

Dolly appears to have been busy behind the scenes and at training to get back into shape. That hard work has been rewarded, as he has made steady progress since joining Chiefs.

Perhaps Dolly’s best game for Amakhosi came on Saturday against the Chilli Boys. He scored two goals in 30 minutes, with two clinical strikes after a double assist from Khama Billiat, whom he also assisted for their third goal.

But Dolly was not done. He was also involved in Chiefs’ build-up for their fourth goal, linking up with Akumu Agay, who assisted Lazarous Kambole for the final nail in Chippa’s coffin.

Baxter refused to take credit for the victory, praising Dolly’s work rate instead.

“He’s working hard. I can’t take the responsibility. From the coach comes inspiration, and from the player comes motivation. If you give him a plan and he sticks to it (that’s all on him). He hadn’t played for so long,” said Baxter.

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ALSO READ: ’I’m pleased with how the boys concentrated,’ says Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter

“I am sure that you’ll understand that when you are not part of the set-up, not playing, you’ll lose the drive that keeps you in top shape. By the time he came to us, yes, he was a few kilos overweight, and clearly we had to work on that.

“I didn’t want to shove him in because the touch, vision and that (sweet) left foot didn’t go. You are tempted to throw him in, but we’ve monitored him carefully to get to where he is today. He’s enjoying football again.”

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Dolly’s performance was so good that it reminded one of the famous “CBD” triumvirate of Leonardo Castro, Billiat and Dolly at Mamelodi Sundowns after his understanding with Billiat in both halves of the game on Saturday.

The victory ensured that Chiefs ended their four-game winless run in the Premiership. It was also the perfect birthday present for chairman Kaizer Motaung, who founded the club 51 years ago.

Baxter is very much aware of the mixed results his team have had of late, with their last win before Saturday being on August 25 against Baroka FC.

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He says they have to keep on working on their mistakes.

“We feel that we’ve been playing better than what our results have given us. But we’ve not been clinical in front of goal and we’ve had to chase the game. Tonight, we’ve been working on our attacking play and defending,” Baxter explained.

“When we come together and win 4-0, we can forget about our weaknesses. But we have to stay focused. We don’t focus on the people that want to bring us down and complain; we focus on the performance and not get wrapped up in the ululation.”

@MihlaliBaleka

IOL Sport

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