However, there was also mixed reaction on social media following the news OF Baxter’s departure, with certain supporters suggesting it was not fair for Baxter to be made the scapegoat for the team’s struggles.
In an exclusive interview with SABC Sport, Baxter has now stated that he actually felt the team could have rebounded to finish as runners-up in the Premiership, which would have secured Amakhosi a place in the CAF Champions League.
“When you don’t get to finish that, of course you are not happy. Of course, I’d have liked to continue and see what we could do. But I have to say, the conditions became not conducive for either me or Chiefs,” said Baxter, who left the club despite still having a year left on his contract.
“So, we sat down and agreed to part company. And that is sad for me because of what I’ve just said. Therefore, I would have liked to continue because I think we could’ve finished top two and I don’t where the table will finish now, but I just think that there’s a sadness for my side that we didn’t get to do that. It wasn’t the way I thought it would be when I actually came back. As things unfolded it wasn’t what I thought it would be.”
Baxter added that he felt things were close to clicking for Chiefs
“When you bring back a coach that’s been successful, whether it’s Jose Mourinho, Stuart Baxter or Fred Blog…it doesn’t matter. The club are obviously thinking this guy has got a bit of a recipe that suits us. And we can get along.
“Am I the same coach that I was when I was at Chiefs last time? No, of course I’m not. I mean my coaching philosophy has moved forward the modern game is developed, and if you are a coach, you keep pace with that you don’t stand still, you develop. I wanted to bring that development to Chiefs and find a new way…
“What you don’t change too much are the supporting walls in the building. The culture around the team. That I had to put into place, and I felt that gradually we got them more or less in place and then to build on that. We didn’t get the chance to build on, that’s immaterial now.
“But that is what I wanted when I came back. As I said, it became obvious to us that the differences in opinions were insurmountable.”