Kaizer Chiefs have already done better than expected in the Caf Champions League by qualifying for the quarterfinals and coach Gavin Hunt says he was incredibly proud of the effort and commitment shown by his players in Guinea on Saturday evening.
Hunt’s men displayed a never-say-die attitude and character to come back from behind twice and play out to an exciting 2-2 draw against Horoya AC at the General Lansana Conte Stadium Conakry, as they progressed to the last eight of the Caf Champions League for the first time ever.
This result ensured that ‘Amakhosi’ finish second in their group behind Wydad Casablanca with nine points from six matches – two victories, three draws, and one defeat.
“We knew to qualify we had to get a score draw or win the game, but it was a huge fight, huge effort, great achievement for the club, first time we got into the group stage and then the first time we got out of the group as well,” said Hunt.
“It is a great achievement – the last eight, it is going to be tough now – who we are going to draw, but we will worry about that when we get to it.”
In the hardship of being blocked from signing any new players this season, Chiefs’ domestic campaign has also been poor and hampered by injuries but in continental football, they are making strides – shinning with Hunt stating that his side has “overachieved” in Africa’s premium club competition.
“This is a hell of a competition to play, and we haven’t signed anyone, you got to look at it in that perspective – a squad that we’ve got to try and go on this front, it is a big achievement so far and we have overachieved, but we haven’t won anything,” he added.
The bigger picture for Hunt is to win trophies at Chiefs, more especially the DStv Premiership. “To win league titles is the ultimate but this (Caf Champions League) is the flagship, the one that has come on the radar now, we have got a taste of it now, good experience.”
“The club has brought me here to win trophies, they will win trophies with me. What we need to do is to look at our squad going forward and get the desire and attitude back; I mean they were so close last year but we need to be challenging for trophies but that will take time with the squad.
“We really need to look at our squad and have people who want to be here and play and the signings going forward is the key.
“If we stick together and go along the path that I want, I know that we will be successful but that doesn’t sometimes come quickly, these things take time, but people are impatient. We haven’t won anything yet, it is just one step at a time,” concluded the Chiefs coach.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi