Gavin Hunt blames poor pitch for Bidvest Wits' recent slump

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Despite bemoaning his side's overall performance, Hunt was delighted with the Students registering their first win of the season

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt was a relieved man following the Students' first win of the 2017/2018 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season against an in-form Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

The defending PSL champions have experienced a demoralising last few weeks as they have failed to reach the lofty heights which they set over the last 12 months.

Nonetheless, after edging out the Buccaneers thanks to a lone Gerald Phiri strike, Hunt was delighted with the result despite describing the performance on the night as his team’s worst of the season. Hunt also lamented the state of their home stadium’s pitch, which he says has led to their downfall.

“Ah‚ God‚ what a (expletive) game. It’s the worst we’ve played this year‚” Hunt was quoted by Times Media as saying.

“The pitch is shocking man. This has been a big downfall.

"I’m not making excuses but it has. We’ve normally got the best field in the country‚ and it’s been shocking.

“But there’s nothing we can do about it. It’ll come right with a bit of rain,” he added.

Meanwhile, the 53-year-old admitted that Wits’ recent slump has been one of the most difficult periods of his career.

“It’s hard. I mean‚ I’ve never taken a beating like this in my life‚” he admits.

“I’ve always been on the other end of the scale. Now I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before. Maybe I was starting to believe in other things.

“But‚ as I say‚ I know I get criticised every week about my team selection‚ but you come down to training.

“This morning‚ ‘Tyson’ (captain and centreback Thulani Hlatshwayo) pulls out.

"So now we’ve got a whole team planned‚ and at lunch time I had to drop Daine Klate and Gabadinho Mhango because Tyson pulled out.

“Of course the win’s important. I mean‚ it’s the worst we’ve played this year and we got a result. It just shows you about football. It’ll drive you crazy‚” Hunt said.

“But we’re chopping and changing every game.

“Our back five we played last year that won us the league and cups‚ and has been consistent for the last year or two‚ is not here.

“We’ve got one player left – the left-back (Sifiso Hlanti). Our back five (or four)‚ was our stable thing – Nazeer Allie‚ Buhle Mkhwanazi‚ ‘Tyson’,” he explained.

Nonetheless, Hunt has demanded consistency from his players going forward.

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“That’s the most important thing. I said to the players‚ all I want now is we’ve got 25 games and I want 25 0-0s‚” Hunt said.

“That’s all. And then we’ll be fine. We’ll survive relegation,” he concluded.

 

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