Hunt admits relief after Chiefs avoid unwanted record of nine matches without a win
Kaizer Chiefs are “going through tough times and sticking together” Gavin Hunt said‚ acknowledging he was fairly relieved that his side did not set an unwanted record of nine matches winless with a 2-0 victory against Petro de Luanda on Saturday.
Chiefs‚ playing in their first-ever Caf Champions League group stage‚ got their first win at that level against the Angolan outfit at FNB Stadium.
Amakhosi were nowhere near a flow‚ and nor would you expect them to be after eight league and cup matches without a win.
But they plugged away industriously at a somewhat pedestrian Petro‚ and earned good goals by Erick Mathoho in the 30th minute and Happy Mashiane in the 79th.
In so doing Hunt’s men avoided equalling their longest winless league and cup run of nine matches‚ bounced back from Sunday’s record margin-equalling 4-0 defeat to Wydad Casablanca in Burkina Faso‚ and got their Group C campaign somewhere near back on track.
“Ja‚ obviously‚ you don’t want to be lumbered with those things. But it is what it is‚” Hunt‚ the master of understatement‚ and a coach who had never given much stock to records‚ said afterwards asked about avoiding the nine-match record.
“You know‚ we’re going through tough times and we’re sticking together‚ and it hasn’t been easy‚” he said.
“But it is what it is‚ and I know the reasons why‚ but so be it. We’ve all got to stick together and we’ve all got a belief‚ and we’ve got to show it.
“And even in the defeats we’ve gone right to the end. Even in the draws‚ where we’ve been 1-0 up and thrown away results.
“And it was another thing where I thought maybe they could get a goal here‚ and that we had to get a second goal‚ and we did.
“A lot of things have happened in the field. But ja‚ we’ve just got to stick together and keep going to the end.”
Chiefs put in a good shift‚ and deserved their two unanswered goals from the game.
“I thought we were good‚” Hunt said.
“It was a little bit frustrating at times because I didn’t think we got rewarded for some good play. But the most important thing was to try and win the game.
“The turning point was to score. Because‚ even though last week the scoreline was 4-0 we still had some good opportunities‚ which we didn’t take. And then we played Horoya here [0-0] before that and we all saw what happened there [with a goal incorrectly overruled].
“So‚ it looked like another night when it wasn’t going to come‚ and on a difficult pitch – the ball was coming off the pitch very quickly‚ and we’re certainly not used to that.”
Chiefs‚ languishing in 10th place in the DStv Premiership‚ will hope a win in the Champions League can again spur some kind of form in the league when they meet Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday.