Gavin Hunt has let on that he will need to shuffle his pack for Chiefs’ next DStv Premiership clash against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC this afternoon when the teams meet at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. With games coming at such a high pace and the injuries beginning to set in, Hunt is expecting to make changes for Chiefs’ vital clash in the Limpopo Province, as Amakhosi maintain their push for a top eight finish.
Hunt who is nearing 900 topflight career games as a coach in all competitions is concerned about the heavy travel schedule that awaits his team. “The team is in good spirits,” he says. “We are looking forward to the game this evening against TTM. It has been quite hectic with up and down travel for all the games, but we enjoy playing. That’s why we are in this business – we want to play football.”
With Chiefs on the go, Hunt is not too concerned with his team having to adapt to different playing conditions, as they have been in Gauteng, Free State and now in the Limpopo province in less than 7 days. “Conditions in Joburg, Bloemfontein and Polokwane are all pretty much the same,” he adds. “Winter is setting in now and it is a little bit colder. In Polokwane you normally get very warm days but it’s going to be a reasonably mild day this afternoon.”
While the playing conditions might be very much alike from the last few venues that Chiefs have played in, what will change on today is Chiefs’ line-up with Amakhosi nursing injuries. The Chiefs mentor will have to draft in other options for the clash.
“The line-up has to change,” he confirms. “People are getting injured and suspended when you play so many games. It’s only natural that players get injured, so we have a few problems. We have to use the squad and anyone who steps in, we have total faith in them. We need to be positive and play.”
Positivity is the name of the game for Hunt who says that despite looming fixtures in the CAF Champions League, Chiefs will keep an eye on finishing in the top eight in the Premiership. He believes the team can achieve that goal.
“We have five league games to go and we have not secured our place in the top eight yet,” he points out. “It’s going to be a big ask but we can do it. Obviously, CAF games are around the corner in between all of this so we will be travelling. And locally we have to come back to Limpopo and go further north to Venda to play Black Leopards, which is a long trip that’s going to be in between the two CAF games.”
He also feels that his team has the ability and desire to improve their log standings and he wants to ensure that a repeat of Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic, which saw Chiefs go 2-0 up early on only to give up their lead and draw does not happen again.
The coach is hopeful things will go better against TTM and thanked all the Amakhosi faithful for the support.