Hunt admits Kaizer Chiefs need points as tough catch-up schedule looms in the Premiership
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt knows that‚ with his team playing catch-up in DStv Premiership fixtures as they juggle the league with continental football‚ they do not want to fall too far behind on the points table too.
As Chiefs continue through the Caf Champions League group stages – where they got their first-ever win at that phase against Petro de Luanda‚ 2-0 at FNB Stadium on Saturday – they will fall behind in fixtures‚ and Hunt said that’s not a situation he enjoys.
Amakhosi’s coach will hope Chiefs can earn a first Premiership win in seven matches when they meet Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Playing catch-up in matches – especially in a campaign where Covid-19 conditions‚ including no real pre-season and matches come thick and fast‚ are making for a gruelling‚ injury-inducing programme – can take its toll on teams’ performances.
And even more so teams who are juggling continental and domestic football.
So three points against Maritzburg would be much welcomed by 10th-placed Chiefs‚ who are three games behind some of the sides around them on the table in scheduling.
Previously in this battling‚ arduous campaign for Chiefs‚ when they found form in the Champions League that seemed to boost them domestically too.
Hunt was asked if he hopes that the win against Petro can have the same effect.
“The league’s totally different. We all know Champions League compared to the PSL is a totally different game of football‚” Chiefs’ coach said.
“The PSL is much quicker‚ much harder – I wouldn’t say in terms of the physicality but the running. So it’s a totally different game.
“Hopefully‚ we’ve got a big game [against Maritzburg] so we need to try and [get a result].
“Because we’re missing a lot of games now. We’re two or three behind. So we need to catch up.
“And so‚ as much as we want to do well on this front [continental competition]‚ now we need to catch up‚ and I don’t like to be behind.
“Rather have three games ahead. So it’s not easy at this time.”
It will be a tough match-up for Chiefs on Wednesday against their wily ex-coach Ernst Middendorp‚ and with second-last Maritzburg as desperate for points as anyone as the crucial‚ cut-throat death end of the season looms.
Chiefs‚ now surely resigned to rebuilding in a 2020-21 season where little has gone their way‚ realistically will now be aiming for a top four or five league placing to save face.
With just 19 points from 17 games‚ even that will not necessarily be easy for the Soweto giants‚ especially as they juggle PSL Premiership and Champions League group stage football in March and April.
Midweek PSL fixtures -
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Lamontville Arrows (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 5pm)
TS Galaxy v Leopards (Mbombela Stadium‚ 5pm)
Baroka FC v Stellenbosch FC (New Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 5pm)
Chippa United v AmaZulu (Sisa Dukashe Stadium‚ 5pm)
Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs (Harry Gwala Stadium‚ 6pm)