Hunt is not at his Wits’ end

Clever Boys ex­pect more ques­tion­able of­fi­ci­at­ing, but are ready to soldier on

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MI­NENHLE MKHIZE

BID­VEST Wits coach Gavin Hunt is an ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner who is aware that they won’t have a smooth ride in their pur­suit of Absa Premier­ship hon­ours this sea­son.

Hunt, a four-time Absa Premier­ship winning coach, had to urge his play­ers to be calm af­ter their 2-0 de­feat to Kaizer Chiefs at Bid­vest Sta­dium on Wednesday night.

His troops stormed over to ref­eree Vic­tor Gomes af­ter he sent off de­fender Robyn Jo­hannes in the last minute of the game.

“We’ve been suffering a lot lately be­cause of these sit­u­a­tions, so we have to be strong, and ob­vi­ously we are not every­body’s favourite,” Hunt said in the post­match in­ter­views.

“I am dis­ap­pointed be­cause we had this sit­u­a­tion last week, and we have it again this week. And, I think there’ll be more to come.”

More­over, they might cur­rently be atop of the log stand­ings with a two-point lead over sec­ond­placed Or­lando Pi­rates, but their loss to Chiefs at home was an ad­di­tional re­main­der that they still have a lot of frail­ties to work on be­fore they can be se­ri­ously deemed as the team to beat in the cham­pi­onship race this cam­paign.

Un­like the 2016/2017 sea­son, where they ended their 97-year wait to claim their first league ti­tle, the Clever Boys have en­dured their worst run at home.

That sea­son Wits bagged six wins and two draws from eight matches - in all com­pe­ti­tions while they’ve now only man­aged four wins, one draw and three losses from the same num­ber of games.

How­ever Hunt is not fazed by their dis­turb­ing home record.

“Who’s top of the league with a home record? It’s us. Who’s top of the league with the away record? It’s us. We just have to keep go­ing. I don’t know, what more do you want?” Hunt said. “You want us to win by 10 points? We can’t. We are not good enough to win (the league) by 10 points.”

As­pects that Hunt has mas­tered in his coach­ing ca­reer are work­ing within a tight bud­get, and pol­ish­ing raw di­a­monds into su­per­stars.

The 54-year-old coach’s phi­los­o­phy proved to be fruit­ful with Su­perS­port United as he ro­tated the same squad that went on to win three back-to-back league ti­tles in the PSL era.

To his down­fall, last sea­son, when he tried to con­form to the norm of buy­ing and play­ing su­per­stars – while drop­ping his regulars – he had to eat hum­ble pie as he found him­self lan­guish­ing in the bot­tom half of the ta­ble.

This sea­son Hunt has turned to his orig­i­nal guns, and so far, he’s got the mojo that saw them claim their first league ti­tle in al­most a cen­tury.

“With what we’ve got, spent and done, we are feath­er­weights punch­ing heavy­weights,” Hunt in­sisted.

“I mean, look at what their team (Chiefs) costs, and look at what our team costs.

“And look where they are, and where we are. And where other teams are; you’ve got to give us credit.

“To win the league with (av­er­age) play­ers, and win the tro­phy last year (is a mile­stone) so we’ve got to keep go­ing.”

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BID­VEST Wits coach Gavin Hunt says his side are like feath­er­weights punch­ing heavy­weights in the Absa Premier­ship, but that they have to keep go­ing de­spite some tough of­fi­ci­at­ing re­cently.

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