Wits now have hoodoo side Stars to contend with after opening day defeat
Bidvest Wits need to go to their most-feared destination in the Absa Premiership‚ Goble Park‚ to meet Free State Stars on Wednesday night and be brave and better their opponents on ability‚ Clever Boys coach Gavin Hunt has said.
Wits last beat Stars at Goble Park 2-0 in a league match in October 2013.
Since then Hunt’s team have lost and drawn in the league‚ lost in the Telkom Knockout‚ lost on penalties in the Nedbank Cup‚ lost again in the Telkom in extra time and lost in the league 3-1 in May.
That last result almost cost Wits their 2016-17 league title.
Making Wednesday night a tougher trip to Bethlehem for Hunt is that the coach must watch from the stands again serving a two-match suspension from a dismissal in Wits’ season-opening MTN8 penalties quarterfinal win against Lamontville Golden Arrows.
Hunt sat in the seventh row up painfully watching his league champions get off to a 1-0 losing start in the PSL on Friday night despite dominating Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium.
“That was very difficult for me‚” the coach admitted.
“Take the context of the game first. I mean‚ we couldn’t do much more than we did – I think we should have comfortably won.
“Now it’s a new game. We’ve prepared the team a bit better. We have got the bit between our teeth a bit‚ which is good.
“It won’t be easy. We know our situation down there. But we need to overcome that.
“We’ve got to be better than that‚ and keep putting the effort in.
"The last two games I think the effort has been fantastic – it’s just the finished article‚ and a bit of concentration here and there that we need to improve on.
“Nobody likes to go to where we’re going. But we’ve got to go in there and be brave and stand up and be counted.”
Wits assistant Paul Johnstone will again be on the bench for Wits on Wednesday night.
Asked to explain Wits’ inability to beat Stars in Bethlehem under Hunt‚ the coach pointed to how Stars turn their ground into a torrid destination with hard running with the ball and harassment without it.
“I think anybody knows as well as I do that it’s not really a football match there. It’s a bit of a fight. And all credit to them‚” Wits’ coach said.
“But we’ve got to match that. And I think if we match that with our ability we’ve got a better chance.”