Njabulo Ngcobo (Press Association)
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has
revealed why he deployed Njabulo Ngcobo as a defensive midfielder in the draw
with AmaZulu on Saturday.
Ngcobo, a central defender, was utilised in
an anchorman role. Baxter said it allowed his fellow central midfielders Cole
Alexander and Phathutshedzo Nange more freedom to get forward.
The Amakhosi boss also explained why he
left out Daniel Cardoso and went for Austin Dube instead to partner Erick
Mathoho in the heart of the defence.
“I have to say that (Austin) Dube has
been very good at training, and we wanted to go back to a 4-3-3, and as a
defensive midfield player, we wanted to use Cole (Alexander) the way we didn’t
use him in the last game,” said Baxter.
“So, we wanted to use Njabulo (in a
defensive midfield role), and it was new for him, and he did OK. He took too
many touches at times and was playing more like a playmaker than a destructive
“But at times, he showed that he’s got
qualities in that role, and he released Cole and (Phathutshedzo) Nange to get
higher, into the box. So, we did get more bodies into the box, which is
something we spoke about after our last game.
“So, when the crosses were coming in,
we managed to get in on the end of some of them, and when we were attacking, we
could have combinations because we had the whole group of players. We had the
same front three (Keagan Dolly, Bernard Parker and Khama Billiat), and we had
Reeve (Frosler) playing left-back.
“I think (Njabulo) Blom is playing
really well at the moment … the best full-back in the country at the moment.
“Reeve, who has also got a great
engine, could be released a little, knowing that we have got Njabulo (Ngcobo),
who is sitting in that defensive role and giving us cover.
“For a long period, it worked very
nicely. But you can’t lose the ball and give it to the opponents in big
transitions when you’re chasing a game because that leads to a counterattack,
and if they lose all those counterattacks, then it would probably be game over.
“But we needed to take a risk, and I
think the boys, by and large, did a decent job.”