We’ve had enough of banana skins now – Baxter

On the mentality of the team in responding to the loss to Royal AM:

There’s been a little bit of soul-searching from a few of the boys. As a team, obviously we’re not happy with the outcome of the last game, or the performance we gave. So, there’s been a feeling of ‘we need to take a little bit of revenge upon ourselves’. The work has been good. It’s been tinged by a bit of over-motivation, but at this point, I’d prefer that.

On facing Marumo Gallants:

I watched them play the other night against Maritzburg and for me they were the better team. They gave Orlando Pirates a real run. This will be one of those games where you’re looking and hoping you’re going to take the three points, but knowing you’ve got to play well to do it. If we give away silly things and don’t take advantage of the good things we create, this is another one of those banana skins and I think we’ve had enough of those now.

On the status of the team ahead of the match:

Bernard Parker is out. He can make the bench, but he’s out. He’s had a broken bone in his hand. We’ve just taken the cast off and he’s in a brace. Bernard is fit, but he’s still in a little bit of pain. He can give us something if needed. The attacking unit will be without Samir (Nurković). Samir is injured, he’s got to have an operation (to repair a damaged meniscus), so we will reshuffle the attacking unit. (Phatutshedzo) Nange is away from midfield, he’s injured (adductor muscle). We will need to also reshuffle the midfield area. That may mean we bring in Reeve Frosler and shuffle up in that way. There are a few changes, maybe in personnel and tweaking the shape a little bit.

On the team’s training this week:

The vibe in training has been good. The quality has been good, especially considering the weather. It’s hot and the pitches are bumpy, so considering that, it’s been quite good preparation. We travel to Polokwane, knowing that we’ve got to go there and do a proper job, otherwise it will be another one of those ‘pat yourself on the back for the performance, but not pick up any points.

On the goalkeeping area:

We’ve got four goalkeepers that are potentially number ones. You can look at the long term of the club, the assets are Bruce (Bvuma) and Brandon (Petersen). Itu (Khune) and Daniel (Akpeyi) give us that experience and we are hoping they will help and assist in the development of our two younger goalkeepers. We have to take every opportunity we can, if all things are equal, to give our younger goalkeepers the experience that will make them senior goalkeepers. That’s where we are, at some point you say well let’s allow them to step back a little bit and give the more experienced guys the shirt in this situation. That’s the rationale behind our thinking.

On assessing the team’s performance to date this season:

We’ve got a way to go. When you look at the performances in every game there have been some good things to take out of the game. On too many occasions, we’ve allowed our focus to waiver. That’s either led to us not converting our chances or giving up chances. If we can tighten those aspects down, we will play more consistently over 90 minutes. If we can do that, then we can play against anybody in this country.

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