Hunt backing for Pienaar, Claasen

Pienaar and Claasen joined the Clever Boys as marquee signings upon their return from Europe, but have yet to show their true value as the defending champions still seek their first win of the season.

In their seven games this campaign, Hunt has fielded seven different starting line-ups, making numerous changes particularly in the midfield, with Pienaar and Claasen coming in and out like tea bags.

The Absa Premiership Coach of the Year, though, explains the value of ‘Schillo’ goes beyond the playing field, and maintains the mental sharpness of the 35-year-old gives them a different dimension.

“As you know, we lost one or two players from last season, so we obviously brought a guy like Steven in and I think he’s been hugely influential in the dressing room,” said Hunt after a 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

“I mean, he hasn’t got the legs anymore, but the brain moves and you saw tonight. I thought he was excellent under difficult circumstances – having gone a man down.

“I was thinking, ‘I need to take him out’ but then I tried to keep him going for as long as I could.”

He added: “Daylon also didn’t play much football last season, I’m also trying to find out where he plays in the different systems or whatever you want to call it.

“That also takes a little bit of time. Synergy takes time, you know, those types of things… But both of them have been excellent in training, good professionals, good ambassadors for the club, and good people – that’s more important.”