Hunt not ruling TKO champs Wits out in the league
As Gavin Hunt notched another milestone on Saturday‚ become only the second coach to have recorded a clean sweep of all four South African trophies‚ he was not ruling out Bidvest Wits mounting a challenge to retain their league title.
Champions Wits might have had their worst league start in the Premier Soccer League era to sit in last place after 11 matches.
But‚ after being unfortunate to lose in the semifinals of the MTN8‚ already Hunt has earned Wits a trophy in 2017-18 with Saturday’s 1-0 Telkom Knockout final win against Bloemfontein Celtic at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu‚ Durban.
In form forward Vincent Pule’s audacious backheel finish in the 90th minute‚ after good work from Amr Gamal with a stepover to beat right-back Tshepo Rikhotso on the left‚ earned Wits a third trophy in two seasons after their league and MTN8 double last season.
Hunt joined Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane to have won all four trophies – the league‚ Telkom‚ MTN8 and Nedbank Cup.
“As I said to the players now‚ the four games we have won in the cup‚ if we had won four games in the league we would be top. That’s how crazy the league is at the moment‚” he said afterwards.
“So‚ ja‚ you would like to think so [that Wits still have a league chance].”
Wits meet Ajax Cape Town in the league on Wednesday at Bidvest Stadium.
In an unbelievably sluggish start to the PSL season‚ the last-placed Clever Boys (nine points from 11 games) are just 10 points behind leaders Baroka FC (19 from 12).
Hunt was asked if he believes his team can reel that difference in‚ and emphasised that more importantly Wits have a perhaps tougher ask keeping touch with some of the bigger guns behind Baroka who are yet to find full stride.
“Shew‚” Hunt breathed at the question.
“Listen‚ if you look at the league table this year‚ the team at the top doesn’t even have two points a game.
“We are 10 points behind‚ with a game in hand. It’s crazy.
“So I don’t think anybody’s going to get over 60 points. SuperSport can‚ and Sundowns can‚ because they’re both in good positions in the league‚ and they’ve got the squads.
“The rest of us‚ we’ve got to try and play catch-up. I think it’s important for us to try and take everything into consideration‚ and take stock.
“Even in the MTN8 we were helluva unlucky to lose over two legs of the semifinal [against Cape Town City]. And I think it took a bit out of us‚ and then we had all the injuries.
“The team’s got good togetherness and determination. And that’s always the first thing that worries you when you’re bottom of the league.
“Togetherness and want and will‚ and all those throwaway words. But‚ I mean‚ we’re together‚ we’re fine.”
Source: TMG Digital.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.