'Yeye' backs old boss Baxter to come good again at Kaizer Chiefs
Former Kaizer Chiefs star Reneilwe Letsholonyane has backed his old Amakhosi boss Stuart Baxter to find the winning formula in the midst of a difficult start to the coach's second tenure at the Soweto giants.
Letsholonyane, popularly known as “Yeye”, was part of Baxter's successful Chiefs combination that won two league and cup doubles in three years in 2012-13 and 2014-15. He later won more trophies under Baxter at SuperSport United.
Chiefs, on the back of six torrid trophyless seasons, have brought Baxter back in the hope the Englishman/Scot can, as he did in his previous stint, utilise a host of promising signings and turn around a demoralised outfit.
In a patchy start to the second tenure, Amakhosi notably laboured in their last two matches - a 4-1 embarrassment to Royal AM and Sunday's poor 0-0 draw against Marumo Gallants at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Bafana Bafana 2010 World Cup star Letsholonyane cautioned that Baxter needs time to establish his best combinations and impose his philosophy on the new-look Chiefs.
“Everything that you start seldom starts going OK overnight,” the 39-year-old said.
“I think it's early days and Stuart and the technical team need time. Unfortunately when you are involved with that team time is not a luxury.
“Yes the team has bought many talented, good players. But they need time to get used to each other.
“And I think they will come right. It's just a matter of time. And then, yeah, it's just a matter of them working hard to make that possible and to make sure that it doesn't take them longer to get used to each other.”
Time is definitely an issue for Baxter. When he previously arrived at Chiefs they had suffered one poor, trophyless season under Vladimir Vermezovic, who admittedly left the team in some disarray.
This time Chiefs' six seasons without silverware means the fans are that much more desperate to see trophies arrive quickly.
“When you are in that space, time is like a luxury to you - you don't have that because you need to hit the ground running immediately,” Letsholonyane said.
“Unfortunately it is seldom the case but a bit of patience, a bit of hard work from the players, and I believe that eventually things will come right.
“But nothing will come easy - that's a definite. Nothing will just miraculously happen overnight. And effort needs to be put in, and the results will show.”
Chiefs face another tough DStv Premiership fixture at Kings Park on Saturday against an AmaZulu side showing signs of form with two wins from three league and cup matches.