JOHANNESBURG - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt says Kaizer Chiefs, who have found a new way of playing that was recently forced on Steve Komphela following injuries to as many as nine first team players, don’t park the bus.
The idea that Amakhosi are too conservative was planted by another Premier League coach in Pitso Mosimane after his counterpart Komphela outwitted him in a 2-1 defeat for Mamelodi Sundowns last month.
Chiefs have gone on a five-game unbeaten run since tweaking their formation to play with three central defenders and allowing the two fullbacks to give them more numbers both in attack and when not in possession of the ball.
“I think it is speaking down to somebody when you say that a team parks the bus. It’s wrong. You can’t talk like that,” Hunt saind Thursday in the build-up to facing Amakhosi in the semi-final of the Telkom Knockout on Saturday afternoon at Bidvest Stadium.
“Nobody parks a bus. Our job (as coaches) is to break the thing down if there is such a thing. Every team we play at home comes and sits in their own half, and they have beaten us.
"I didn’t say after the game that they parked the bus. It means we need to be better, make a plan. We played Golden Arrows. They didn’t come out of their half, but they beat us 3-1. I can’t say they parked the bus. We had 10 chances and didn’t score (enough), and they did.”
It’s no surprise then that Hunt is adamant Chiefs will possibly have the upper hand when the two sides clash, arguing Komphela has quickly found a winning formula.
“And we haven’t,” the four-times league winner explained. “Sometimes things like these happen in football. You stumble across a situation and it sort of finds its own way. Our problem is that we haven’t found a way, if you look at our performances this season.
"And we have had so many injuries. We haven’t had a consistent eight or nine players in our selection, which has been our biggest problem.”
Wits have won only four matches in open play from their 14 games in all competitions this season and currently occupy an unfamiliar position on the Premier League table - second from bottom of the log after nine outings.
“But we are still in good spirits,” Hunt said. “I think right now Chiefs know more about us than I do. We have two players that haven’t come back from national team duty (captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Sifiso Hlanti).
"Sifiso played two games, which I don’t understand. But people can say what they like about formations and systems you play. At the end of the day it’s about what the results are.
"I thought Chippa United were very unlucky against Chiefs (in the quarter-finals). If you know anything about football, the game should have been over in the first 20 minutes. But they got the result, and a few more that have kept their momentum.”
The Telkom Knockout has eluded Hunt as a coach for several years now in the topflight, but his concern is to use it to pick up form in the league race marathon.
“It will be more difficult to do that in this game with what we have left with players still out. And also our next league game (against Sundowns) means we still have a tough fixture and they don’t.”