Gavin Hunt focuses on getting to know his players
Breaking Amakhosi’s trophy drought would get the new coach off to a flying start
Gavin Hunt knows a trophy would relieve the pressure immensely as Kaizer Chiefs’ new coach‚ but he is experienced enough to also know not to count on winning the MTN8, saying the competition is part of his building process.
Hunt’s main aim in his first weeks at Chiefs‚ he said‚ after a Covid-19-induced mini-preseason of two weeks‚ is to find the way of using the players he has to make Amakhosi a winning combination.
He will continue that process — after Saturday’s 3-0 Premiership defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns and Tuesday’s fortunate 1-0 win against Chippa United — when Chiefs meet Orlando Pirates in Saturday’s first leg of their MTN8 semifinal at Orlando Stadium.
“This MTN cup has been around for a long‚ long time‚ with other sponsors involved‚ and it’s a great opportunity to get yourself in a cup final so early in a season‚ which I always think helps with momentum going forward‚” Hunt admitted.
“The good thing is we’ve got two games in the semifinal‚ in a home and away situation.
“But I mean‚ for us‚ for me‚ being new at the club it’s just about trying to find out about the players a bit more every day‚ every game. And trying to find a way of playing that suits the players more. That’s the most important.
“You know‚ I can’t come in here and just bash the door down. We’ve got to try and find a way that suits what we’ve got‚ and try and take it a step forward every time.”
In the back of Hunt’s mind‚ as much as his priority is building‚ he will know that a trophy early in his first stint at a big three club — reversing the five seasons Chiefs have endured without one — can buy him a lot of stock at his new club.
“Obviously the magnitude of the club is huge and they expect to win trophies on a regular basis‚” Hunt said. “But you’ve also got to look at a lot of things. Why they have been five seasons [without a trophy].
“And let’s just get through Saturday‚ and let me get through a few games. I already know what we need and don’t need. But that can only come out on the training ground working with the players‚ and try to improve the squad we’ve got and take it from there.
“So ja‚ anybody in their right mind wouldn’t not want to make it to a final and try and take it one step further. But sometimes it takes a little bit longer.”
Chiefs beat Maritzburg United 2-1 — coming from a goal down — in their season-opening quarterfinal to reach the semis.
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