Gavin Hunt believes Kaizer Chiefs’ short pre-season preparations have contributed to their slow start to the 2020/21 DStv Premiership season.
With four points from their opening three league matches, Hunt admits that it will take a while before his charges run like a well-oiled machine as he continues to search for the key to have Amakhosi firing on all cylinders.
A lot was expected from Amakhosi following their humiliating 3-0 defeat to fierce rivals Orlando Pirates in the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal. But instead, Hunt’s men produced a lacklustre display as they drew 0-0 at home with TS Galaxy on Wednesday night.
Hunt said that some of Chiefs’ players began the new season still short of rhythm and fitness, hence he battles to build on a previous starting line up going to the next match day.
“Tower [Eric Mathoho] only trained for two days and now I played him which maybe was not the right thing and also [Kgotso] Moleko was out for three weeks so I haven’t really had a chance to work with everybody,” said Hunt.
“Samir Nurković is obviously the biggest blow, he is the top goal scorer and hasn’t played, so we haven’t got everybody available. And the squad is not the biggest. The chopping and changing has really been down to players available, not available. We have to keep working, hopefully [Billiat] Khama will score goals.”
The 54-year-old mentor deemed Chiefs’ senior players such as Mathoho, Leonardo Castro, Lebogang Manyama and Willard Katsande unfit. “This season we are going to need everybody,” he said as the club is prohibited from signing players this campaign.
“So, the biggest problem with those type of players [older players] is the pre-season. There was no pre-season, it was pretty much two weeks, the older you are the longer you take to get fit and get match ready.
“I’m trying to do a pre-season while the games are on, trying to play them fit, that’s all I can do. Younger players get fit quicker.
“Once you stop as when you get to a certain age, it is difficult to get your legs going again, then you need a proper six to seven weeks to get up to speed, I will try to play the older guys fit,” concluded Hunt.
RELATED STORY: Njabulo Blom is the future – Gavin Hunt
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
All pictures courtesy of Kaizer Chiefs