Tembo on Baxter impact: 'I believe Chiefs will be up there challenging for the league‚ and each and every cup'

SuperSport United FC coach Kaitano Tembo during the #MoreThanABrand with SuperSport United FC at Megawatt Park on June 03, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SuperSport United FC coach Kaitano Tembo during the #MoreThanABrand with SuperSport United FC at Megawatt Park on June 03, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Stuart Baxter is going to “change Kaizer Chiefs”‚ make them competitive and in all likelihood have them challenging for the DStv Premiership in 2021-22 too‚ SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has said.

Tembo – groomed as a head coach having previously been a long-time assistant to many bosses at SuperSport‚ including new Chiefs coach Baxter – said an Amakhosi also bolstered by new signings will be hard to beat for any team in 2021-22.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of Matsatsantsa’s season-opening MTN8 quarterfinal against Golden Arrows at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday evening‚ Tembo said resurgent Chiefs will make for a more competitive top five league space that SuperSport traditionally inhabits.

“Chiefs are always a big team and they have gone into the market and brought in players to bolster their squad in terms of quality‚ so obviously they are going to be very competitive. Probably they will be challenging for the league title as well‚” Tembo said on Tuesday.

“So we’ve got to do what we have to do to make sure that we stay within that group‚ which means we’ve got to work a bit more‚ and a bit harder.”

Tembo said twice Bafana Bafana coach Baxter‚ also returning for his second spell at Chiefs‚ had been influential in his progress as a head coach. As a partnership Baxter and Tembo won the Nedbank Cup in 2016 and 2017 at Matsatsantsa.

“I’ve worked with him‚ I think I owe a lot to my progress and development as a coach to him as well‚” SuperSport’s coach said.

“I know that he is going to change Chiefs – Chiefs are going to be very competitive this season. And believe you me‚ knowing him they are going to be very difficult to play against.

“And the season is going to be very interesting. I believe that Chiefs will be up there challenging for the league‚ and each and every cup game as well.

“So we are looking forward to a very interesting season.”

Baxter was the last coach to win silverware at Chiefs before their six-season trophy drought with league and cup doubles in 2012-13 and 2014-15.

As head coach at SuperSport Tembo won the 2019 MTN8 trophy‚ and has steered the Tshwane team to sixth‚ fifth and fifth in the league.