Bidvest Wits' strong start to the 2018/19 season explained
Posted: 8 August 2018 Time: 13:30
Bidvest Wits assistant coach Paul Johnstone has explained the club’s massive resurgence following a disastrous 2017/18, and assures that their approach is no different.
Wits have started the new campaign like a house on fire, with two wins from two – having beaten Free State Stars 3-0 followed by a resounding 3-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday.
The Clever Boys seem to have turned a new leaf, with new signings at the forefront of their impressive displays thus far.
Johnstone says they delved into their issues from last term.
“We’ve obviously worked a lot on our team. We knew last season we had a massive problem – one, in terms of finishing and scoring goals. You can’t be contending if you’re not hitting the 40, 50, 60-goal mark during the season,” Johnstone stressed.
“In the season that we won the championship [2016/17], goals were hard to come by, however, we did manage to score quite a bit. Last season we were nowhere near what we wanted to achieve in terms of goal scoring.
“At the other end as well, we needed improvements because we were conceding way too many. The turnaround has obviously been the changes – signing 11 new players, and we obviously got rid of a few – got rid is harsh, but a few have left us, should I rather say.
“When new players come in, it brings the freshness, it brings a different mentality and, you know, fresh legs and fresh character. And that’s worked for us.”
Asked whether a change of approach is what has perhaps driven the players to being more assertive in their performances, Johnstone defended that head coach Gavin Hunt’s experience and knowledge remains of great value but some serious reflection has brought about a positive impact.
“I wouldn’t specifically say we’ve gone back to the drawing board and tried to reinvent the wheel. Gavin’s been around for many years as you well know, and it’s unlikely that he will change his methodology or the way he thinks, and we certainly haven’t done that,” he added.
“But there was obviously questions that needed to be asked first of ourselves as a technical team, because naturally our necks are on the block, and putting in a little bit more harder work – looking into things a bit deeper and what can we do better.
“We said to the players at the beginning of pre-season that we point at ourselves first, and to the guys who are still here from last season, if we’re doing the extra bits we want them to do the same.
“So far so good, the turnaround has been phenomenal but, as I’ve said, it’s very early days. We’re over the moon with the two results thus far, but we move to the next one try to keep progressing.”