No, this was not some analyst predicting how the last eight or so matches of the league will go. It was rather a man who knows more than most about what it takes to win the championship - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
No, this was not some analyst predicting how the last eight or so matches of the league will go. It was rather a man who knows more than most about what it takes to win the championship - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Hunt expects tight finish to title race despite coronavirus threat looming

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Mar 16, 2020

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The threat of the coronavirus bringing the campaign to a premature end notwithstanding, brace yourselves for a topsy-turvy conclusion to this season’s Absa Premiership title race.

“This one will go down to the last day. There’s still going to be a lot of twists and turns.”

No, this was not some analyst predicting how the last eight or so matches of the league will go. It was rather a man who knows more than most about what it takes to win the championship - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt.

And while many are of the view that it would take some kind of miracle to stop Kaizer Chiefs from celebrating their 50th anniversary by depositing the league trophy into their cabinet, Hunt has warned that the destiny of the championship is far from being decided.

“Everybody has still got to play each other at the top. It is crazy,” said Hunt after his team’s 4-0 Nedbank Cup quarter-final victory over GladAfrica Championship side Real Kings at the weekend.

“We don’t play (Mamelodi) Sundowns but we will play (Orlando) Pirates and Chiefs twice. I think SuperSport (United) still have to play them. It will be good for South African sports. You don’t know the ending.”

The title race is now reaching boiling point with Chiefs top on 48 points from 22 games and Sundowns just four points behind with a game in hand.

Pirates and SuperSport are hot on their heels with 40 points each, while Wits are also still in it 10 points behind Chiefs after 21 games.

Sundowns host Pirates tomorrow while the Clever Boys go to Amakhosi on Wednesday.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has sarcastically pleaded with Hunt for help in derailing Chiefs, who have been in the lead all season.

“He doesn’t have to rely on us. He knows he can do it himself. He knows there will be twists and turns. They play Pirates. Pirates can beat them or they can beat Pirates. I think they still have to play Chiefs. It is crazy. It is going to be really tight,” Hunt said as he deliberately avoided including his team as challengers.

The officiating has been poor this season and Hunt feels it has to be better in the final stretch.

“The biggest pressure is going to come from the officiating. Maybe we should get VAR for the last month of the league,” suggested Hunt, who is currently tied on four titles with Mosimane, Gordon Igesund and the late Ted Dumitru.

“Obviously you want to do it but it is difficult to do it with the clubs that I’ve done it with,” he said.

“But that doesn’t come into the equation. It is about how well the club can do. We’ve competed in the last six years. We’ve had one bad year. Third, second, first and third in five years.

“Obviously, the Nedbank Cup is the only cup that I haven’t won here. It is not easy. Things have to go your way and you need a bit of luck.”

As Sir Alex Ferguson used to say, we are in for “squeaky bum time”.

@minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury

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