Gavin Hunt after Chiefs' draw against Celtic: 'Ja‚ good performance‚ a great performance again'

03 May 2021 - 12:18
By Marc Strydom
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt cuts a frustrated figure during a match.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt cuts a frustrated figure during a match.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt said making three enforced changes made things difficult for his team in their 2-2 DStv Premiership draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday‚ but that he felt his team gave a “great performance”.

Hunt said Chiefs’ “Achilles heel” of defending cost them‚ as they spurned a 2-0 lead gained by the 12th minute from starting on fire to miss out on a chance for three valuable points away at Dr Molemela Stadium.

The result saw Amakhosi continue to flounder in their effort to break into the top eight‚ and avoid matching their worst two league finishes of ninth.

Hunt said he thought it was a second good performance from his team in succession‚ saying they had also been unfortunate in a 1-0 defeat to then-15th-placed Chippa United at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

Given his team’s lack of clear-cut chances they created against Chippa‚ that was something of a surprising appraisal from the coach.

“Ja‚ good performance‚ a great performance again.

"I thought it was a good performance on Wednesday when we lost 1-0. I thought it was a good performance again [against Celtic]‚” Hunt said.

“But the whole Achilles heel of our team‚ you know‚ is defending. I always say you can’t win anything without defending.

“But the defending starts from the front. And we’ve been unfortunate.

“And the whole season we’ve been making changes – forced changes. Before half time‚ after half time.

"In football sometimes that also throws you off a bit.

“But in saying that we had the better of the chances. We had more than enough to win the game.

“But you can’t come away and score two goals and draw the game. You come away you should be defending better. But it is what it is.”

Hunt pointed out that three of his five substitutions – Bruce Bvuma and Reeve Frosler on for Daniel Akpeyi and Erick Mathoho at the break; and Dumisani Zuma for Happy Mashiane in the 56th – came as a result of injuries to players.

A fourth‚ he said‚ of Leonardo Castro for Samir Nurkovic in the 81st‚ was partly due to Nurkovic fasting because of Ramadan.

“Daniel got a heck of a bang on the head so he’s got a bit of concussion‚ and ‘Tower’ [Erick Mathoho] has done something‚ I think a groin‚” the coach said.

“Samir obviously it’s Ramadan and he’s struggling to play. Mashiane got a bad kick on his ankle.

“So those are three enforced changes. But anyway‚ I’m proud of the players‚ they’ve given me their all and that’s the most important thing.”

Goals from Mashiane in the third minute and Mathoho in the 12th saw ninth-placed Chiefs race into the lead.

Eleventh-placed Celtic’s replies came from Neo Maema (22nd) and a Victor Letsoalo penalty (54th).

Chiefs meet 15th-positioned Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.