Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has hailed Orlando Pirates as "big favourites" to win the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title but decried his side as having limited time to gear up for Saturday’s MTN8 semi-final showdown against their Soweto rivals.
Chiefs will arrive at Orlando Stadium fresh from Tuesday’s 1-0 PSL win over Chippa United.
But Hunt says they have had little time to prepare for the Soweto derby since returning from the Chilli Boys assignment.
“We have just returned from Port Elizabeth so we are looking forward to the game,” Hunt told the media.
“It’s right on top of us, so not really much time to effect the team too much. We will do a little bit of a light session tomorrow [Friday] and then play on Saturday. So we are looking forward to the game.”
Before joining Chiefs in September, Hunt had tasted intense derby football while he was in charge of SuperSport United, playing against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Tshwane affair.
But now he is involved in the Soweto derby, the biggest fixture in South African football.
“I’m trying to get the team right, keep working on the team, trying to get us play they way I want,” said Hunt.
“Obviously it is a derby. If you look at it, no supporters and that makes a huge difference. So I’m just trying to continue on my path forward and trying to build the team and trying to prove results.”
The four-time Premier Soccer League (PSL)-title winning coach will be facing five players he coached at Bidvest Wits who are now at Pirates.
Thulani Hlatswhayo, Deon Hotto, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Deon Hotto, Thabang Monare and Frank Mhango are the Buccaneers players Hunt worked with at Wits.
“My opinion is that they [Pirates] are big favourites for the league title. They have built a good squad," Hunt said.
"They have a lot of players whom I know and obviously worked with. So they have a very good squad of players. What they do is not for me to say. I’m concentrating on what we must do. Pirates are much stronger than they were last season. In know what is ahead of us so we look forward to the game."
What could be worrisome for Chiefs is their seemingly blunt strikeforce which is yet to score a goal in three matches under Hunt so far.
It took defender Yagan Sasman to grab a brace in their MTN8 quarter-final 2-1 win over Maritzburg United, before a goalless outing in the 3-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns last Sunday.
Their 1-0 victory over Chippa United on Tuesday came courtesy of an own goal by Gregory Damons.