JOHANNESBURG - No team in the Absa Premiership this season has scored more goals than Bidvest Wits. They’ve scored nine goals in five matches so far. In fact, the rest of the 15 top-flight football teams are yet to score more three goals in a single league encounter.
However, coach Gavin Hunt is still not satisfied with what could be deemed as the best attacking department in the league at the moment. “Am I happy with strikers? Yes and No. I am not happy about it. But I am happy that both Mxolisi Macuphu and Gift Motupa scored against Amazulu, and that’s always a good sign," Hunt said.
“But they need to do better, in the first half there were times that they’d either overhit or under-hit the ball or pass. They’ve got to do better in those because they are not going to get those chances against other teams. So we are always looking for improvement."
Their attack this season has been led by newbies Motupa, Macuphu, Deon Hotto, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Hashim Domingo and Simon Murray. Former Bloemfontein Celtic man Hotto is slowly becoming the king of assists this season as he’s already provided three, meanwhile, it was Domingo’s resilience that forced Gladwin Shitolo into an own goal that gave them all three points against Orlando Pirates. Although Dzvukamanja and Murray are being introduced gradually, they’ve each got a goal for the Clever Boys as well.
“I don’t want to say I told you they’d settled in well, but I told you so," Hunt enthused. “When you win in football, you’ve got to freshen up. We’ve just played five games but there’s more energy and legs in the team. And it is something that we didn’t have last season, so we’ve got to see where we will end up after 30 games, but it’s really a long way to go."
The Clever Boys do not only have a potent attack, but they are also solid at the back. As a result, they’ve conceded only two goals so far. That solidity has been rewarded by national team coach Stuart Baxter as only one member, Robyn Johannes, of their back-five didn’t get a Bafana Bafana call-up for their Africa Cup of Nations against Libya on September 8, at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Hunt has backed Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi and goalkeeper Darren Keet to do well for Bafana, but he’s also adamant that they return on a clean bill of health.
“You are always happy when your players have been chosen for the national team," Hunt insisted. “And I think it’s a good squad of players that coach Stuart (Baxter) has chosen. I wish them well, and they’ve got my full support. I also hope that when they come back they are not injured or anything."
Like any other coach on a high, the international break provides a nightmare to Hunt’s preparations and momentum. “The break is a problem," he said. “We knew the break would come because they are bigger than our standards. It’s just that it’s frustrating, and we all know. We happy with how we started, but now the momentum is two and a half weeks away. There’s just no formula, do you train or do you not. At least, between Saturday and Saturday fixtures, you are a bit organized.”