Gavin Hunt working on Kaizer Chiefs’ mentality, game intelligence
JOHANNESBURG - Gavin Hunt may have led Kaizer Chiefs to the semi-finals of the MTN8 competition on Sunday but he’s not getting carried away just yet, saying the team needs more time to gel.
Chiefs’ progression to the last four of the most rewarding domestic cup competition of the season, where they’ll meet rivals Orlando Pirates, follows their 2-1 come-from-behind victory over bogey side Maritzburg United.
After an underwhelming first half, which saw them trail after a goal from Thabiso Kutumela, Hunt’s charges were better in the second, equalising and finding the winner from a double scored by Yagan Sasman.
In the bigger scheme of things, that win may have given Chiefs a huge morale booster considering they’ll be hoping to get their DStv Premiership season off to a flying start when they clash with champions Mamelodi Sundowns at home on Saturday.
Hunt, though, has kept his feet on the ground, insisting that they’ll take baby steps before he can form a fully-fledged team after taking over the reins at the club less than a month ago.
“After 10 minutes I thought to myself, ‘oh my God, what am I involved in?’ It’s going to take a little bit of time. Everybody is different. There’s a lot of things that we want to do,” Hunt said in his post-match press conference on Sunday.
“I don’t like talking, instead I work more on the training ground. We’ll get more muscle and do what’s required at certain times. There are things that we need to do better.”
Considering that Chiefs finished better than they started against Maritzburg, what is it that caused the turnaround as they struggled against the Team of Choice in their last three meetings?
“I think the mentality and game intelligence. Those are the biggest things that you can work on. Game intelligence, what to do and the right time. We showed great mentality in the second half. We could have faltered and capitulated it all in the first half,” Hunt said.
Hunt has been forced to work with the same crop of players from last season, considering that Fifa is yet to hand down their verdict on Chiefs’ one-year transfer ban appeal.