Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
5 Nov 2020
3:02 pm

Hunt laments the absence of supporters’ boost for his Chiefs team

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt believes his players would be doing much better than they are at the moment were they playing in front of crowds like they are used to. 

Gavin Hunt is looking to engineer a comeback on Sunday. ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

It is a known fact that players are extra-motivated when there are people watching them from the stands and the game has not been the same since supporters have not been allowed at match venues due to Covid-19 safety protocols.

READ MORE: Hunt defends Chiefs’ older players as the team struggles for results

Speaking to the media on Thursday morning ahead of his team’s MTN8 semifinal second leg on Sunday, where they have a mountain to climb to overturn Orlando Pirates’ 3-0 lead, Hunt said he feels his players miss playing in front of their supporters.

Chiefs could also only play out a goalless draw with TS Galaxy at home in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday evening and have won just two of their first five matches in all competitions.

“I think it’s more of a disadvantage,” said Hunt when asked if the absence of supoorters also helps him experiment in peace without supporters constantly shouting for changes.

“I think you could see it even last season already, the fans could have helped them get over the line,” he added, referring to Amakhosi’s last day crumble in the title race. “For me, I certainly feel it. I can feel from the players that they miss the fans that are usually behind them. It’s a big loss not having the supporters there,” he emphasised.

The 56-year-old mentor also admitted that the goals they conceded in the first leg against the Buccaneers werepreventable if they had been on top of their game defensively.

Amakhosi now have a mammoth and seemingly impossible task to beat Pirates 4-0 if they are to advance to final of the MTN8 which comes with a cool R8-million prize cheque for the winner.

“We certainly need to find and take opportunities when we get them. Defensively we were not very good in the first leg. We have got to take the chances when we get them against a team like Orlando Pirates,” he said.

Amakhosi are also going through a barren run up front with just three goals in five matches to their name. He said he hopes their goal scoring challenges will be sorted out soon and also lamented the absence of last season’s top scorer, Samir Nurkovic who is out with an injury.

“If you look at Pirates, they were also struggling to score goals but suddenly got three against us. These things can turn around very quickly. The most important thing is that we continue creating the chances, but we also need to be taking them, that’s for sure.

“We have to do better in front of goal. But any team in the world would miss a player who was their top scorer in the previous season. We have to get on with it, but we need to spread the load and find goals from other areas as well.”