Chiefs coach identifies mentality as main starting point at Naturena

It's all in the mind, says Gavin Hunt

Neville Khoza Journalist
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt.

Ahead of their DStv Premiership opener against Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm), Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has highlighted areas where he feels they need to improve.

After watching his side come from a goal down to win 2-1 against Maritzburg United in the MTN8 quarterfinal on Sunday, Hunt says it will take time for his philosophy to take hold at the club.

The 56-year-old will face a stern test when they renew their rivalry with Sundowns, who lost to Bloemfontein Celtic also on Sunday, and Hunt promised that he would be working on getting game intelligence and mentality right.

“There are a lot of things we are going to try and do, and that will happen on a training ground,” Hunt told the media after the match.

“I don’t like talking. I want to work on the training ground and work on getting to know what we need to do at certain times. There are so many things we need to do better.

“But I have been here a week and a half, and some of the players I don’t even know their names. It will take a little bit of time.”

The coach, however, was pleased with the fighting spirit his side showed after being a goal down to win the match 2-1 thanks to late second-half goals from Yagan Sasman.

Maritzburg had taken the lead through Thabiso Kutumela just after the half-hour mark.

“The most important thing is the mentality,” said Hunt, who was without Samir Nurkovic, Mulumowandau Mathoho, Lebogang Manyama and Willard Katsande.

“I think mentality and game intelligence are the biggest things you can work on at the right time. We showed a great mentality in the second half. We put a few things in principle.

“But in the first half, we were all over the show. We were poor. Maritzburg did well. They pressed us and played balls behind us down the side, which we didn’t deal with.”

Without Mathoho at centre-back, Hunt paired Ramahlwe Mphahlele with Daniel Cardoso and said he could be playing Mphahlele, usually a righ-tback, in that position from now on.

“I had a chat with Rama and I think that’s where he is going to play more. I don’t think he is at the age where he can get up and down on the sides more. At this point in time, we don’t have a lot there. Mathoho is injured, so we pretty much had Siyabonga Ngezana.

“I just played Rama in the week [friendly match], yeah first half not good but second half much better understanding, so if nothing happens for me it will be a long-term plan.”

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