Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt: I've taken a hammering
Posted: 28 November 2017 Time: 09:31
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt hopes the "hammering" he's taken could ease up now that the defence that won him the league has been restored.
Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Nazeer Allie and Sifiso Hlanti played together for the first time this season in a goalless draw with Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.
Left-back Hlanti has been an everpresent as the former trio battled with injuries, along with goalkeeper Darren Keet.
"This is the first time... this season... that I had my defence back. Nobody else in this whole league has gone through what I have gone through," said Hunt.
"Nazeer Allie played his first game [since playing against Baroka in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals on November 4]. 'Tyson' Hlatshwayo played his first game [since November 4]. Buhle has been out for six months. So we had our defence back that won us the league last season.
"What happens? Clean sheet, hallelujah, simple. So I've been hammered, I have taken an absolute hammering and rightly so but the guys who came in have been good.
"But once we get our defense back, which we got them back today, we look much better. Now we got a platform to play, you understand what I'm saying. Why five changes in this game? Well, we were playing six at the back the last game [against Mamelodi Sundowns last week Tuesday] and now we got four players, which will help us on how we play normally. The rest of the team takes shape off what you got."
Hunt, however, downplayed Wits' prospects of defending their Premiership crown as they are propping up the standings after 11 games, albeit only 10 points adrift of leaders Baroka.
The four-time league winner reckons Tshwane giants SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns are the teams to watch.
"Generally you can't lose more than five games, generally and we've lost six," he said with a laugh.
"We can't be concerned about that now. We are only concerned about getting ourselves in a better position. One thing I know for certain, the teams at the top won't go away. They'll come back, they'll come back... I don't mean in a bad way, I mean in a good way. I think they'll come back into the pack.
"I think teams like SuperSport United who have played five games, 10 points, they're going to be big favourites to win the league and Mamelodi Sundowns, whose got the best squad of players in the country. They are going to be looking at winning the league, those two teams... I don't see anybody out there right now for me personally, that's right now.
"That's why I think the teams at the top will come back to the rest."
Hunt's side are struggling in the league but are in the hunt for silverware as they will meet Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout final at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday (18h00).