'I don’t like the modern day full-back‚' says Wits coach Gavin Hunt

21 November 2018 - 11:24 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt takes charge of a training session at the club's Sturrock Park training base in Johannesburg on October 17 2018. coach of Bidvest Wits during Bidvest Wits Training on the 17 October 2018 at Sturrock Park , Johannesburg / Pic
Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt takes charge of a training session at the club's Sturrock Park training base in Johannesburg on October 17 2018. coach of Bidvest Wits during Bidvest Wits Training on the 17 October 2018 at Sturrock Park , Johannesburg / Pic
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Gavin Hunt remains an old school coach at heart and is not sold on the idea of the modern attacking full-back.

Most coaches these days prefer the 3-4-3 formation with the full-backs operating as wingers‚ but Hunt doesn’t like to see his right and left backs running up and down the flanks to deliver crosses.

“I don’t like the modern day full-back‚ I need defenders who can defend‚” he said.

“Let defenders be defenders and attackers be attackers.

"I don’t like to see these guys running up and down the flanks because most of the time the ball ends up in the stands after a cross.

"I would rather have a winger cross the ball than a defender.”

For most of Wits’ matches this season‚ Hunt’s defence has comprised of Buhle Mkhwanazi and Robyn Johannes as central defenders and Sifiso Hlanti and Thulani Hlatshwayo at left and right back respectively.

“Sometimes people talk about systems but there are basics in football that need to be done better‚" he said.

"Sometimes people over complicate the game and we need to keep it as simple as possible.

"There are certain things you need to do at certain areas of the field.

"People go away from that and once you go away from that you are going to struggle.

"The game is about scoring goals and defending when you don’t have the ball.

"There is an old saying that strikers win you games and defenders win you leagues.”

Hlanti and Vuyo Mere likes to overlap and deliver crosses from the flanks into the box but Hunt said all the players follow his instructions.

“It is easy to manage the situation‚" he said.

"You just put a restriction on the player and tell him that you are not going anywhere.

"If you go anywhere‚ you will come and sit next to me on the bench and that’s how it works in football.

"You watch world football‚ Real Madrid and Barcelona have top players but their defending is atrocious.

"If you work in football‚ you need to have defensive structures that work better.”

Hunt will have to reshuffle his central defence for Sunday’s Telkom Knockout clash against Baroka FC in Polokwane because Johannes is suspended.

“He (Johannes) has been our best player this season‚ actually I think he has been the best player in South Africa‚" he said.

"He gives us something we didn’t have last season and that’s why we signed him.

"We have two Bafana Bafana defenders who played together for the past two to three years and that has been the strength of our team.”

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