Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt was happy with the fact that he was able to have five days off with his charges from their last league game against Baroka as they prepared for their next game against Cape Town City on Wednesday afternoon at FNB Stadium.
The reprieve in the schedule was a welcome one for Hunt and his team, but that all changes with games coming fast in the next three weeks. Chiefs will be playing every three days and then returning to continental action. The coach is hopeful that his team will start moving forward as they get ready to play their final nine league games of the campaign over the next five weeks.
Speaking after wrapping up his preparations on Tuesday morning for the game against Cape Town City, Hunt was positive about having had some extended time off but is ready for the challenge that awaits his team. “This is the longest break we will have till the end of the season,” he says. “The five days were more about mental recovery than training and to just give the players a little bit of a break. Now we have a final push as we will be playing every two to three days.”
The final run into the campaign is of vital importance for Hunt who believes that a finish well inside the top eight is within his team’s grasp. He also believes they can go beyond just making the top 8.
“We’ve got nine games left,” he adds. “We need to get ourselves up there into the top five. I believe we can – there’s no doubt about it. We need to start this Wednesday against Cape Town City. They are one of the best teams in the league, but we have to do the job.”
The Chiefs coach also reflected back on Chiefs’ victory over Cape Town City in the sides’ earlier meeting in Cape Town on 16 January and would like his team to remain composed throughout the 90 minutes.
“When we played them in Cape Town in January, we got two goals up early and then we started to give the ball away,” he reflects. “A bit of slackness and nerves set in. We won, but it was not pretty at the end.
“We need to keep trying to build on the momentum. I think from where we were, we have come around a little bit. We can talk all day, but results are the bottom line.”
There is some good news for the Chiefs coach heading into the game as he let on that striker Leonardo Castro, who has been out with a nose injury he picked up when he scored in Chiefs 1-1 draw with Stellenbosch on 6 of April is available for selection. Should Castro feature against Cape Town City, it will be his milestone 100th game in all competitions for Chiefs. Hunt would like him to mark the occasion with a goal or more.
The match will be broadcast live on DStv Channel 202 with commentary on various SABC radio stations.