Itumeleng Khune mistakes ’big concern’ for Kaizer Chiefs and Gavin Hunt
JOHANNESBURG - Gavin Hunt believes that he’s still the right man to hold the reins at Kaizer Chiefs, and despite poor results in recent weeks he said “I know what to do and what not to do”.
After two defeats in the league and Nedbank Cup last 32, where they lost to Orlando Pirates and GladAfrica Championship side Richards Bay, Chiefs suffered their third defeat in a row on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium.
That loss extended their run to five matches without a win – they earned two draws late in January. That winless streak appeared to have all but crushed Chiefs' chances of winning domestic silverware, as they've alrady lost out on the Nedbank Cup and MTN8.
In the league they are ninth on the standings with 18 points, half the tally of leaders and champions Mamelodi Sundowns who have a game in hand and are one of the two unbeaten teams in the top-flight this season.
Hunt, though, has blamed the non-signing policy for his team’s poor run. But given that he won multiple titles with low budgets and uncut diamonds at Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United, many pundits tipped him to still churn out the results at a star-studded Chiefs.
The 56-year-old coach has subsequently come under criticism from some of the Chiefs faithful who think that he’s run out of ideas. But Hunt believes that he knows what he's doing and that his team has just been unfortunate – just like Wednesday.
“I think the plan that we set out to do was good and was right. I thought in the first half, the final ball let us down. I thought in the final third we had lots of chances. We just needed the final pass to put the shot away,” Hunt said.
“We should have done better but we didn’t. So, I don’t think it's about that actually (being out of ideas). Their goal, the second, was an opportunist’s goal. Lucky. It came from a mistake. (But) I know what to do and not to do but obviously it’s not happening for me.”
So much for a man who knows what he’s doing. Chiefs were punished for “that mistake” after Hunt’s gamble. Hunt selected Itumeleng Khune for the No.1 jersey. Khune was returning for the first time between the sticks since his blunders late last year.
Upon his return, Khune cost the team dearly once again, failing to punch the ball out of the danger zone from a corner kick at the death. The resultant spill fell to Lehlohonolo Majoro who spooned the effort into the top corner, over a cluster of Chiefs defenders on the goal line.
On another Khune mistake, Hunt said: “It's not the forum or place to talk about that. But it's a big concern since I’ve been here. Hopefully, it’s something that we can work on. And we can improve on it. But it’s a big concern.”
Khune, though, appears not to be the only senior player that is not playing according to Hunt's script lately. An agitated Lebogang Manyama walked straight to the dressing room after being substituted off in the second half after starting from the bench.