Stuart Baxter defends Njabulo Ngcobo and Brandon Peterson after heavy debut defeats


Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has delivered a telling verdict on new additions Njabulo Ngcobo and Brandon Petersen's respective debuts.

Reigning PSL Defender of the Season, Ngcobo, and former Bidvest Wits goalkeeper, Petersen, were both handed their first starts for the Amakhosi on Saturday but endured debuts to forget as the club succumbed to a disastrous 4-1 defeat to Royal AM.

Petersen, whose only other appearance for the Amakhosi came during the Carling Black Label Cup, found himself under fire in goal, but was absolved of any blame by head coach Baxter.

READ | Chiefs equal 16-year unwanted record in Royal AM defeat

"I thought his distribution was good in the first half and his calmness was quite good but whenever he had to make a save, it was almost a last-ditched save," Baxter said.

"So, I don't think it was a very easy game for Brandon in that respect."

Ngcobo, who arrived at Naturena from Swallows FC at the start of the season, is another player who had been made to wait for the debut but suffered a similarly challenging evening on his maiden outing.

"With Njabulo, I've been saying all along that he has got to get used to his teammates. He's got to get used to the way we play, he's got to accommodate our build-up play with his own qualities," he added.

"He's going to make mistakes and he's going to give us some strains but, same as every player, I think the screaming 'push him in, push him in, push him in' doesn't help him, it doesn't help anybody.

"I gave him a game tonight because I thought it was the right game for him to go in, I wanted him to drive forward a bit with the ball on his side, and dominate a little bit because of the way they play. But, it's his first game. He did okay, but he could do a lot better." 

Check out some of the Royal AM stars' rides that were on display after the match