JOHANNESBURG - Gavin Hunt has been in enough championship battles as a coach to know not to get carried away by seeing his side three points ahead with just three matches to go.
And while many at Wits are already imagining their team lifting the PSL trophy, the three-time league-winning coach is remaining nonchalant.
“We can’t be saying we need this and we need that to win it. We will manage it one game at a time,” the Wits coach said.
And he should know better than anyone else, Hunt having generally won the championship by narrow margins and on occasion losing the final match of the season only for results elsewhere to go his team’s (then SuperSport United) way.
“I’ve been there three times and on the last day players' feet just don’t move. It’s been crazy, we’ve won it by one point and even by goal (difference). If you go there and you are worried about the end result, you’ll be in trouble. Just play the situation, you can’t get ahead of yourself; you can’t start thinking we need nine points or we need these results,” Hunt said.
Having just seen his team maintain their three-point lead at the top of the standings with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over a stubborn Martizburg United, Hunt was pleased that his team shut out their opponents.
“Of course, if you keep clean sheets you’ve got a chance. But I wasn’t entirely happy. Our ball retention was poor and I was not happy with certain players, I wanted to take them off after five minutes but the ones to come on would have been tired so we waited for halftime and the shape got better,” Hunt said.
He is hoping they play even better tomorrow when they travel to Free State Stars on Wednesday.
“After the eight weeks that we’ve had you could see that we were out on our legs in a day game," the coach lamented.
"We’ve got to try and get through Wednesday then we’ve got a week (to rest) for the first time in eight or nine weeks. It’s been crazy, every two or three days we’re playing and obviously with Caf (Confederation Cup assignments) as well."
He was not complaining about the tough task that lies ahead at Ea Lla Koto though, their poor record there notwithstanding.
“Sure it has never been kind, but maybe it is our time now. We will go there with a positive mindset; we can’t be negative. They are a hard side to play down there. They are fighting for their lives and we are fighting on the other side. We are under no illusions as to what we expect down there. For 35 years I’ve been going there, I know what to expect. It won’t be an easy game,” Hunt said.
It also won’t be easy for Wits to win the championship, not without a fight from the defending champions anyway.
“(Mamelodi) Sundowns and (Cape Town) City will be fighting until the end. I’ve said it before, that I don’t think any of them will lose their (remaining) games. So we’ve just got to be careful, we got to play and enjoy it because if we don’t enjoy it, it gets hard," Hunt said.
"We know we have three huge games (against Stars, Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs). It was a grind today and it is going to be like that until the end."
Yet if any coach knows how to grind out results, it is Hunt.