Hunt ready for difficult Chippa test

Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has cut a happier figure over the last few days after his team inflicted a first league defeat of the 2020-21 season on log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday. The coach would now like for his charges to do the same in their next league encounter scheduled for this afternoon against Chippa United as he looks forward to his team cementing their place inside of the top 8.

Victory over Sundowns was crucial for Hunt but says he would like to be picking up maximum points more regularly. “The most important thing was to get three points after we lost to Cape Town City,” he explains. “If we had beaten City and lost to Sundowns people would have said oh okay, but obviously we were disappointed about Cape Town City and then we went and won against Sundowns.”

After a physically challenging game on Sunday, the Chiefs mentor is now expecting an equally feisty opponent in the form of Chippa United who would want to climb out of the relegation places.

“Games against a team such as Chippa are difficult,” he divulges. “We need to get ourselves mentally ready as they will be very motivated because they are fighting for their lives. We have not been good at home for whatever reason, so it’s important for us to come out with the right mindset and do our best.”

While Hunt is expecting a tough outing, he is not too concerned about the changes made recently in Chippa’s coaching department.

“We can’t get ourselves involved in their personnel changes,” says Hunt. “I think it’s more about what we do with the ball on the day. Just like Sunday, you can have all the plans in the world but it’s important how you play with and without the ball.”

Hunt highlighted the importance of game management as we head towards the important part of the season. He also raised his concern about the mental strain his own team has been under, and a packed schedule both domestically and continentally in the next month. He says he is hopeful his charges will manage the gruelling schedule ahead.

“As I keep saying, the mental strain on the team is more important than the physical strain because of what happened last season,” he emphasises. ”Coming into this season, we had to get the mental attitude right and sometimes you need to get away from the game, but we have not been able to because we are travelling and playing every few days.

“With a host of games still to come, I believe we will need to manage ourselves well over the next few weeks. We are playing nine games in four weeks, and five of them are bus trips and possibly a long airplane journey’s, but we have to be strong and focus. It’s part and parcel of the game.”

Chiefs will head into the clash against Chippa minus Khama Billiat who picked up an injury that prevented him from finishing the game on Sunday.

Kick-off for the game between Amakhosi and the Chilli Boys is at 15:00 at FNB Stadium. It will be live on SuperSport Channel 202 on DStv.