In his first match since taking over as manager in June, Baxter watched on as Odisha succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Hyderabad FC in their 2020/21 ISL opener, courtesy of a first-half penalty from Spanish forward Aridane.
Following the match, in which no fewer than five Odisha players found their name in the referees' book, the 67-year-old lamented the short pre-season and suggested a possible reason for his side's apparent ill-discipline.
"I don't think I'm different from any of the coaches, we would like more time with the players," Baxter said, per Goal.
"I think the fact that we were chasing the game once we gave away the penalty, the frustration that crept in that resulted in a few ill-timed challenges, that's probably the reason."
Baxter was also without the services of former Bidvest Wits midfielder Cole Alexander, who joined the club last month, and a host of other key players, but he refused to use their absence as an excuse for his side's defeat.