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'Winning matches more important than fancy football'

Baxter has revived Chiefs' hopes, says Akpeyi

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs.
Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has underlined the importance of prioritising winning games over playing attractive football, laying bare their dream to be league champions.

Chiefs have enjoyed an inspiring run in recent weeks, having gone four league games without a defeat, with three wins and a stalemate. This promising form is the reason they find themselves second in the DStv Premiership.

Amakhosi would be eager to extend their unbeaten streak to five games when they host Cape Town City at FNB Stadium on Saturday at 6pm. Akpeyi feels grinding out results is more of an imperative than playing an enterprising brand of football at this time, making leaders Mamelodi Sundowns his case study.

“The most important thing is for you to win your games. Sundowns are on top of the log not because they’re always that fantastic or what but they’re there because they’re picking up points even when it’s difficult. We have to do the same. Playing nice football comes second, winning is the most important thing,’’ Akpeyi told Sowetan.

“We don’t just want to participate. We are here to compete to make sure that we end up in a respectable position at the end of the season. The goal is to be number one or number two. Actually, we want to win the league. We haven’t won a trophy for some time now, so we want to win this league. We want to go back to the Champions League.”

The 35-year-old keeper conceded their current form has helped their confidence, aiming to improve in each game. Akpeyi added that the arrival of coach Stuart Baxter, the last trainer to win a trophy at Naturena (the 2014/15 league title) had reignited their title ambitions, acknowledging it still won’t be easy.

“The morale is high. We’re trying to keep the momentum. We’re trying to build a team that we ought to be. We are trying to fix mistakes by every game.

“The arrival of coach Baxter raised the expectations because he won the league before with the club but I can remember him saying in one of his interviews that things have changed. He highlighted that there must be more hard work than when he was here before.”

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