Chiefs' 3-0 defeat to Sundowns haunts Hunt: 'you can’t be conceding goals like that'
There is a certain element that you need in a successful football team that is missing from Kaizer Chiefs at the start of the 2020-21 season‚ coach Gavin Hunt said after his side’s 3-0 opening league defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Hunt said he knows what it is that makes a good team tick‚ and he will continue to strive to get to it‚ because he knows right now Chiefs are “nowhere near” to it yet.
Chiefs were outclassed in most departments at FNB Stadium.
The gulf against the champions seemed to confirm that Amakhosi overachieved finishing runners-up last season with the squad they have.
And while Chiefs are left watching on the sidelines in the transfer window due to a ban on signings for two windows that is still at appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas)‚ their big rivals Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have gone on spending sprees.
Such an embarrassment of riches for Sundowns seemed evident on Saturday.
Hunt knows he might have to work with what he has‚ and in that case‚ he said‚ Chiefs simply cannot concede goals as easily.
“The scoreline doesn’t read well‚ but I thought we maybe created a few chances ourselves – maybe even better ones‚” the coach said.
“But you can’t be conceding goals like that. That’s something that we’ve known from day one‚ so I need to sort it out. Try and work the best we can with the players we have got.”
Often when teams start poorly‚ it just takes a classy signing or two in key positions to steady the ship. Hunt may not have that luxury if the Cas appeal fails.
More importantly‚ right now‚ after the bizarre Covid-19 circumstances of a one-week break and two-week preseason‚ Chiefs are just missing an element‚ Hunt said.
Having won four league titles‚ and eight career trophies‚ the coach said he also knows what that is.
“I mean‚ no excuses‚ but we are nowhere near [to where we want to be]. But in saying that‚ there are a lot of things we want to say‚ but it’s not right to say that in the media‚” he said.
“There are things we have got to work on. And I mean‚ it’s also up to a lot of other things as well.
“I wasn’t very happy. It’s not like I was happy last week [in Chiefs’ 2-1 MTN8 win against Maritzburg United]. With the result [last week]‚ ja [I was happy].
“I think we’ve created chances in the last two games‚ which is good from that perspective. But on the other side there’s a certain element for a game of football that you need in football teams.
“I know what it is. We’ll keep striving to get there.”
Hunt has issues he needs to resolve. One is that Willard Katsande simply does not seem to have the legs any more in defensive midfield.
Bernard Parker struggles to produce a strong performance two games in a row. Even normal stalwart Itumeleng Khune was poor between the posts.
Hunt has to figure out who to deploy‚ how and when to deploy them‚ and how to manage them.
If his veterans are lacking energy‚ can he utilise the world-class facility he has at Chiefs’ village to rejuvenate them?
How does he introduce youth products without damaging their confidence?
It’s a lot to juggle and ponder for a coach a month into the job at the country’s biggest club.
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