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Baxter warned: Chiefs have changed

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When he returns to Kaizer Chiefs, Stuart Baxter will not be able to call on the likes of Tefu Mashamaite, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, says Farouk Khan.

FILE PICTURE: Stuart Baxter during the Nedbank Cup, Last 32 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Edu Sports FC at FNB Stadium on February 21, 2015 in Johannesburg. Picture: Lefty Shivambu, Gallo Images

CAPE TOWN – Former Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Farouk Khan has warned Stuart Baxter about the quality of players at the club ahead of his rumoured return.

Baxter has been heavily linked with a return to Naturena over the last couple of days, following the sacking of Gavin Hunt, who had his contract terminated on Friday after a poor season.

Khan, who was Chiefs’ number two between 1997 and 2002, believes the quality of players at the club is not the same as when Baxter left after delivering two consecutive league titles.

“He (Baxter) was very successful in his first stint there, but he had the players. He had Tefu Mashamaite at centre back, he had Itumeleng Khune at his peak, Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala) was phenomenal as well as Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane) and (Willard) Katsande won everything in midfield,” Khan was quoted by The Citizen’s Phakaaathi.

“At SuperSport, even with the players he had there, he didn’t fare as well (in the league).”

Khan continued that he found the timing of Hunt’s sacking rather odd, considering they still had a Caf Champions League semi-final coming up.

“It was a bit of a surprise for me, with two league games remaining and with them being in the semi-finals. I don’t know what is Chiefs’ thinking, whether they were looking at starting their preparation (for next season), and with Gavin having not done well in the Premiership.

“After the Leopards game (Chiefs lost 2-1 in midweek) I think that was what broke the camel’s back. They had lost to the (league’s) bottom three.

“I don’t think Hunt was happy there. You could see from the interviews he gave that he wasn’t happy. He always mentioned the lack of players, and not being able to sign because of the ban they had.

“I felt for a long time management were behind him, but when it looked like they would not make the top eight and could be pulled in to the play-offs (that changed).”