Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter has given fans a glimpse of the team's depth in the resounding 3-1 win over Swallows in the DStv Premiership on Sunday.
It looked like another frustrating draw was on the cards, with the first-half approaching without goals, however, Keagan Dolly broke the deadlock for Amakhosi two minutes before the half-time break and Khama Billiat made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.
Suddenly Chiefs went to the half-time break with a two-goal cushion and things got better in the second stanza after Billiat made it 3-0 eight minutes from the restart and completed his brace.
There were nerves just after the hour-mark after Lebohang Mokoena pulled a goal back for the Birds but the Glamour Boys managed to hold on to a convincing win.
Although Baxter can't claim full credit for the changes, as both Cole Alexander and Njabulo Blom were suspended.
The former Bafana Bafana coach has been criticised for being too defensive, especially with defensive midfielders Alexander, Phathutshedzo Nange and Njabulo Ngcobo all playing.
However, against Swallows Chiefs looked better pressing high, with Baccus playing as a deep lying playmaker.
Chiefs' problem throughout the season, for lack of consistency, has been Baxter's stubbornness in sticking with the approach of playing on transitions, without a ball-playing midfielder.
Now the hectic schedule and suspension of other key players has forced him to come up with a different approach and different personnel, which worked perfectly against Swallows.
"With these three games we’ve had in a very short time, the loading on the players is enormous and we were conscious of that fact,” Baxter explained on the club's official website.
“We also tried to ease the load at the finish by putting some of the other lads on and I thought Kearyn was excellent in his role. (Siphosakhe) Ntiya-Ntiya came on and had a very good little cameo – so it was good.
“It’s one of those, now the lads that you think are the starters have got to make sure they are up for it now because they’ve got others breathing down their necks, which gives me a good problem,” he added.
However, that's easier said than done.
Chiefs' next encounter is against Cape Town City on Saturday evening at home and the Citizens are one of the most attacking teams in the league.
Will Baxter got back to his defensive approach?
If the Englishman goes back to his defensive approach, of playing on transitions and excluding the likes of Baccus after such a good game, it will be evident that his stubbornness is the only thing holding Chiefs back, even if they beat City playing defensively.
Because if the likes of Baccus and Mashiane are benched or overlooked again, it will affect their morale and they won't be in a good condition, meantally and physically when they are needed again.
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