Sami Hyypia has had a rough week. He has been in Finland since the news about his exclusion from Liverpool's Champions League squad broke, in his other role as captain of the Finnish national team, and he was not happy with a 3-3 draw against Germany here in Helsinki.
In a game strewn with defensive errors Hyypiä made one of the crucial ones, just after Jonatan Johansson had put the Finns 1-0 up. Miroslav Klose nipped in between Hyypiä and Petri Pasanen to score the first goal of his hat-trick and level the scores
At that point it seemed as though Finland - who scored just 13 goals in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign under Roy Hodgson - had missed their chance to win the game.
Their style under Hodgson was not so much cautious as agoraphobic, but it did yield respectable results and showed that Finland would need to develop their own attacking style if they want to qualify for a major tournament.
That is Baxter's brief, and he enjoyed a lesson in Finnish fatalism from his captain. Finns expect their national team to fail in dramatic fashion, primarily in ice hockey but also in football, and Hyypiä mentioned the most infamous of Finnish football's near-misses in his post-match comments.
"It reminds me of the Hungary game," offered the Kymi valley native. "The win was seven minutes away, but seven minutes is a long time in football."
He meant the final game of Finland's campaign to qualify for the 1998 World Cup, when shambolic Finnish defending gave Hungary a last-minute equaliser, dumped Finland into third place in the group and sent the Hungarians to the play-offs.
That game is widely regarded as the most gut-wrenching of many last-minute failures for Finnish teams in football and ice hockey, and for it to be mentioned so early in a qualification campaign shows how deeply embedded the pessimism among Finns is, when it comes to their sporting endeavours.
Those Finnish fans and media were extremely happy with the 3-3 result and the game. Many said that they were disappointed, that it was a golden opportunity missed, that the game should have been won, but it wasn't all that convincing.
Most of them couldn't quite hide their delight at having seen such a pulsating, exuberant game of football, and still getting to take part in the most enjoyable part of the Finnish matchday experience: ruing bad luck, tutting, and saying 'typical Finland'.
The beaming grins were the giveaway, and they weren't present during most of Hodgson's reign. He had to convince people that 0-0 draws at home were a good result, and it sometimes seemed as though he was the only one smiling after Finland had played.
Baxter is an entirely different kettle of fish. He did not need to convince anybody of anything after his side had scored three times and drawn with Germany, so his post-match comments were more concerned with the missed opportunities than the decent result.
"I said before the game that we'll do everything we can to win, and if we get a draw then maybe I'll be happy after that," said Baxter. "At the moment, because of the way the game went I'm finding it very difficult to be happy with it."
An Azeri journalist working for a Russian newspaper introduced himself as "representing two of your opponents in the group" (the other teams in Group 4 are Russia, Wales, Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein), and asked about a perceived slight on the stature of Azeri football Baxter had apparently made earlier in the evening.
The British coach bridled at the suggestion, clarifying his comments by pointing out that motivating his players is more difficult for the Azerbaijan game than it was for a huge event like the Germany match. Finland lost to the Azeris in Euro 2008 qualifying after beating Poland and drawing with Portugal, so his fear is not without foundation.
An indication of the magnitude of the Germany match was the 38 cameras used for the live broadcast, seven more than were deemed necessary for the European Championship final in July.
It's not quite Anfield, and Finland's football culture is still very young, but Finland are growing in confidence under Baxter and their fans helped to compensate in some small way for the disappointment Hyypiä has experienced recently.
He was determined to look on the bright side, but had no illusions about the situation facing him when he returns to Liverpool.
"Of course I'd like to play for my club too, and not just Finland, but at least now I am fresh when playing for my country," said Hyypiä.
"I have nothing much to say to the manager. I'll listen to what he has to say, but I got the message when he called me. I'm just going to do my best for Liverpool as there's no point worrying about not being in the Champion's League squad. There's nothing I can do before January anyway."
Hyypiä was referring to the new Champion's League squad list, but it escaped nobody's attention that the transfer window also opens then. If he is still a peripheral figure for Liverpool at that point, he and his manager may have some tough decisions to make.
Additional reporting by Juha Salminen