“We were poor and a bit all over the show in the first half. Also, our back four was stretched,” says coach Gavin Hunt after seeing through his first match for the Gold & Black with a gallant win over a resilient Maritzburg United on Sunday afternoon. “We changed a few things in the second half and we played better after that. It was not an easy game to come from behind, but the most important thing is to go through to the second round.”
Chiefs progressed to the semi-final of the MTN8 Cup where they will meet arch-rivals Orlando Pirates in two legs.
“I think Ramahlwe Mphahlele will play centre back most of the time,” reveals Hunt. “At his age, I don’t see him going up and down as much on the flanks as he used to. We also did not have much in centre with Mulomowandau Mathoho injured. We had Siyabonga Ngezana, who came in the second half. I had a chat with ‘Rama’ and worked with him throughout the week. If nothing happens that will be more of a long-term plan.
“I thought in the midfield we were not picking up the second ball. We were not getting close to them, and the youngster Njabulo Blom, I think he is one for the future. I only watched him for a week. I did not want to start with him today. He can cover distances and he has a great engine. In a few second of coming on, he played that long pass to Bernard Parker who should have scored. We brought on Leonardo Castro, who only trained for a week after his injury. I did not think he would last long, and he played well with Khama Billiat. He gave us something.
“It is going to take a little bit of time,” concludes Hunt. “I don’t like to talk too much, I want to get on the training ground and prepare for the next match. We will work more on the training ground to get some muscle memory. There are certain things I saw that we must do better. The most important is the mentality and the game intelligence, that comes from the training ground with practice.”