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Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs did not give Hunt time to work with players - Booth

18:16 SAST 2021/12/01
Stuart Baxter Kaizer Chiefs Gavin Hunt Chippa United
The ex-Bafana Bafana defender says Stuart Baxter’s predecessor did not get a fair chance at Amakhosi

Former Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back Matthew Booth feels Gavin Hunt was not fully afforded the opportunity to work with the squad he had during his time at Kaizer Chiefs.

Hunt joined Chiefs in September 2020 before being fired eight months later.

He had arrived at Naturena to find a club serving a Fifa player transfer ban.

But after inheriting a team that had finished as runners up in the league title race the previous season, expectations were that Hunt would guide them to the league title for the first time since 2015.

That was the last time Amakhosi claimed any piece of silverware, but Hunt struggled on the domestic scene while Chiefs had a good tun in the Caf Champions League.

“I was a little bit sad that Gavin Hunt was not given an opportunity to utilise the players. I can understand the fans and owners want results,” Booth told GOAL.

“That’s life, that’s football. But I think they couldn’t bring a better man than Stuart Baxter who was successful with the team before. They are going to be desperate to get some silverware after a six-season drought. That’s unheard of for a calibre of that club.”

Chiefs have not won any silverware since 2015 when they lifted the 2015 Premier Soccer League title, interestingly under Baxter during his first stint at Naturena.

His return has seen Chiefs now moving into second spot on the PSL standings with eight points less than leaders Sundowns.

A combination between Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly appears to have given Chiefs some fire to challenge for the league title.

“And the expectations from their fans, it puts pressure on them,” said Booth.

“I like that Dolly after a bit of a stumble at the beginning of the season has come back extremely strong. That shows the strong mentality of the player that he still has a lot to offer.

“The fact that he has combined with [Khama] Billiat and [Bernard] Parker to such a great extent has been a massive bonus for Chiefs because it has taken a lot of the pressure off the defence.

“Baxter realised that his centre-back pairing was their Achilles from last season, hence at times, he has gone for a three-man defensive midfield in Njabulo Ngcobo, Cole Alexander and [Phathutshedzo Nange] who is quite defensive in quality or by nature. That has taken a lot of pressure off his back four.”

Chiefs are now preparing to welcome a tricky Cape Town City on Saturday as they seek to keep track of Sundowns.