Gavin Hunt: Kaizer Chiefs ‘could not do much in the Fifa week’
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has said that with seven front-line players away on international duty there was only so much he could work on tactically with his struggling team in the Fifa international week.
Chiefs meet Lamontville Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont‚ Durban, in their DStv Premiership matchup on Saturday having had a rough start to 2020-21‚ where Amakhosi have started with two wins‚ a draw and three defeats from six league and cup matches.
Hunt said having key players away on national team duty — including in Bafana Bafana’s two Africa Cup of Nations qualifying wins against Sao Tome and Principe — meant he could only work on so much with the remaining members of his squad.
“At the moment I am glad that we have all the players back in camp‚” the coach said.
“Obviously some of the players travelled around and will not be at their best — hopefully with one more sleep they will get some rest to be ready for the restart of the league on Saturday.
“We could not do much with the players that remained during the Fifa week. With seven players away‚ we could not work on the structure and team tactics. We played a friendly match to keep match fit‚ but we could not do much.
“The travelling players faced an assortment of travelling patterns. For example‚ Daniel Akpeyi arrived in the early hours and I had to send him back home to rest.
“The trio of Siyabonga Ngezana‚ Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Njabulo Blom travelled from Saudi Arabia [with the SA Under-23s]. Anthony Akumu and Khama Billiat also had to do some long-distance travelling.”
Hunt said in contrast‚ Arrows‚ who have started 2020-21 with a win and two draws in the Premiership under new coach Mandla Ncikazi‚ had only a few players on national duty.
“Yes‚ they are on a good run and have not lost a match. That will boost their confidence‚” the Chiefs coach said.
“They have good players such as Knox Mutizwa and other interesting youngsters. They play with speed and enthusiasm.
“I think they had only one player away during this Fifa week. So‚ they were able to do some work. They will be ready‚ but we will be ready too.”
Chiefs have right-back Reeve Frosler‚ who started the season in form‚ out for two months‚ joining key striker Samir Nurković and winger Dumisani Zuma on the injury list.
PSL fixtures this weekend —
- Stellenbosch FC v Chippa United (Danie Craven Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
- Lamontville Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs (Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
- Black Leopards v Maritzburg United (Thohoyandou Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
- Orlando Pirates v SuperSport United (Orlando Stadium‚ 6pm)
- Swallows FC v TS Galaxy (Dobsonville Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
- Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Baroka FC (Thohoyandou Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
- Cape Town City v Bloemfontein Celtic (Cape Town Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
- Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu (Loftus Versfeld‚ 3.30pm)