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Hunt on Chiefs' struggles in front of goal: 'I couldn’t tell you‚ nobody could tell you'

05 November 2020 - 11:36 By Marc Strydom
Gavin Hunt says he has to grind out results with the squad that is at his disposal.
Gavin Hunt says he has to grind out results with the squad that is at his disposal.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has admitted that the absence of last season’s top goal-scorer and frequent match-winner Samir Nurkovic through injury seems to be affecting their scoring performance.

Hunt continued to seek his best combinations and answers to an indifferent start to the season in Chiefs’ 0-0 DStv Premiership draw against TS Galaxy at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night‚ where his team were fortunate to run out with a share of the spoils.

Galaxy’s Wade Lekay hit the post with a 28th-minute penalty in a first half where the Mpumalanga team had other good chances to score too.

Chiefs improved and had opportunities of their own in a more even second half.

For Hunt‚ it will be frustrating that while Leonardo Castro – who came off the bench on Wednesday – and starter Khama Billiat appear to be making an effort‚ both have yet to get on the scoresheet in 2020-21.

“I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. Nobody could tell you‚” Hunt mused‚ asked about Chiefs’ lack of goals in three of their five league and cup matches.

“I mean the opportunities were there. I thought there were some good opportunities.

“Ja‚ I mean you’ve got to keep working. Obviously we’ve only got two strikers I think. So we’ve got to keep playing them.

“We’ve got to try and get them through the period and hopefully Khama can score goals.”

Earlier Hunt had said in his post-game SuperSport TV interview that Nurkovic’s absence is a factor too.

The Serb‚ out for two months due to surgery‚ finished joint-second top scorer in a group of five players on 13 goals in the 2019-20 Premiership.

“Ja‚ we got what we got‚” Hunt said of the result against Galaxy.

“The longer the game went we got stronger. But certainly‚ what we got out of the group‚ that’s what we are going to have to do – just try and get the maximum out of the group in every game.

“That’s all I can do. You know last year they scored 48 goals‚ 23 from set pieces. You can see why. And the top goal-scorer [Nurkovic] is not playing. He scored half of them.

“We got unbelievable chances there – you’ve got to be taking them. So it is a problem.

“But defensively a bit better. We kept a clean sheet. It’s something to build on. And we’ve just got to try and build a game at a time‚ try and give these younger players a chance.

“Obviously when the game gets a bit helter-skelter like this the younger players go missing‚ because of the physicality and that‚ which we lost a bit.

“But in the first half Galaxy were good‚ the second half we were better.”

Chiefs seem unlikely to reel in a 3-0 first leg deficit when they meet Orlando Pirates in Sunday’s second leg of their MTN8 semifinal at FNB Stadium‚ but will seek a morale-boosting improvement in performance‚ and perhaps a win on the day.