JOHANNESBURG – Despite their Absa Premiership title aspirations suffering a blow against Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits’ coach Gavin Hunt refuses to throw in the towel just yet as he is adamant that anything is still possible.
On Saturday , the Clever Boys’ bogey run at Bidvest Stadium continued as they lost to Pirates in referee’s optional time following a Keagan Ritchie own goal. Those dropped points left Wits third on the log with 41 points, while the Buccaneers went on to 44 and surpassed Mamelodi Sundowns at the summit via goal difference.
That defeat marked Wits’ second successive defeat at home after the penalty shoot-out Nedbank Cup quarterfinal loss to Chippa United.
“We are a couple of points behind now. (But) there’s still five games to go and anything can happen,” Hunt said. “We’ll tackle the next one (against Chippa). But I think we had a good performance (against Pirates) and we were the better team. We should have won the game, there was no danger and they played us from our mistakes. But sometimes football works like that.”
Ritchie, may have been responsible for the loss, but Hunt admits that own goals are innocent mistakes made by even the world’s best.
“It's very difficult for the boy (to shift the blame away from himself). However, there are a lot of better players around the world who score own goals, and I’m sure there’ll be more,” Hunt said. “It came at the top of his head, it’s unfortunate. But I thought he was very good and played well. I suppose when luck is not with you then it’s not. In the last few weeks, we haven’t had any luck, they get free-kicks and put it at the top corner.”
Wits will be banking on their title rivals to drop points - especially with Pirates still going to visit Cape Town City. The Clever Boys will play three of the five matches away from home - something that Hunt will welcome given their impressive run on the road.
“The home form has been dreadful. There’s something that’s here and shouldn’t be. But the pressure has gone off us a little bit, so we’ll have a go now and just play.”@Mihlalibaleka