'Hunt had to go to arrest Chiefs decline'

Ndlanya says Baxter can bring in new dimension

Neville Khoza Journalist
Former Chiefs striker Pollen Ndlanya during an interview with Sowetan in Daveyton.
Former Chiefs striker Pollen Ndlanya during an interview with Sowetan in Daveyton.
Image: Bafana Mahlangu

Gavin Hunt's departure from Kaizer Chiefs was the right move for the club, former striker Pollen Ndlanya feels. Hunt was dismissed on Friday last week after a string of poor results.

Ndlanya says he fully understood Chiefs' decision to fire him as the results were not coming and had he stayed longer, the club could have been dragged into the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Under Hunt's guidance this season, Chiefs have registered six victories, 10 defeats and 12 draws in 28 matches and found themselves in an unfamiliar 11th position in the standings.

“I think we only judge whoever gets the mandate by the results. I guess Hunt so far has struggled, honestly, in terms of winning locally,” Ndlanya told Sowetan yesterday.

“Look at the team, where it is lying on the table. And by the look of things, they are not far from the playoffs. This is not healthy for the team to be in that position heading to the end of the season.

“Probably, if they lose the remaining two games, they will be down in the relegation zone. The team is not doing well and the management saw the log and decided to release him.”

While some feel Hunt should have been given another season and the chance to sign his own players, Ndlanya disagrees.

“The team that he was coaching ended up second last season. It is the same team and now, being where they are, it is another story ...  looking at the log, the team panicked,” Ndlanya said.

“They thought if they were to lose the remaining games, they were going to drop to the playoffs. As I said, Gavin had the same team that finished second.”

With rumours that Stuart Baxter will replace Hunt at the club, the 51-year-old Ndlanya said the Briton would motivate the players, something which is missing.

“Once you bring a new coach, he will come in with his methods of playing. But I still believe that even if you don’t change your playing style, you motivate the players.

“By the look of things, the players were not motivated. Unfortunately, when the team doesn't perform, the blame will go to the coach.”

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