Gavin Hunt was delighted to see Samir Nurkovic return to the line-up to score a crucial goal for Kaizer Chiefs in Wednesday's 1-0 win over AmaZulu in a PSL encounter in Durban.
Amakhosi had gone six matches without a win in the PSL since last claiming a 1-0 win over Chippa United in October 2020.
Despite only recovering from a long lay-off recently, Nurkovic was drafted into the starting line-up and featured throughout the 90-minutes, netting an early winner at Kings Park Stadium.
And Hunt was thrilled to see the Serbian make such an impact after recovering from surgery following an injury he sustained in the bio-bubble at the back end of last season.
''We now worked on our shape before we came off yesterday to try and nullify them because they have some good players, they invested in their team heavily upfront,’’ Hunt said after the game.
''I knew their wide players, they are dangerous.
''But I thought that's how you supposed to defend because in the first half, they got in behind us once, twice maybe but we had some really good chances and I thought Samir [Nurkovic], who hasn’t played for 90-minutes was fantastic, I didn’t want to play him, but we only have one striker available so it’s a problem —Khama Billiat is out with a fractured bone while Leonardo Castro is suffering from an abdominal strain."
Hunt conceded his side has been poor defensively but was happy with the three points which they will take to their next two matches, against Cape Town City and Stellenbosch FC.
''Right now, for us, any win is a big win. I mean we should've won a few more games but the points or the table doesn’t lie, we have been poor defensively, but as I said from the start if you get a guy like Samir [Nurkovic] playing in your team every week, like what happened last year, he played the first 10 games and he was brilliant, he scored those goals,’’ added the four-time league winning coach.
''He had half-a-chance and we haven't had that.
''We had some great chances, but that's going to be that type of a game, they will come, push numbers forward, load our box and obviously, space will open up for us to go in which is a typical South African game of football which you see every week,
''Once a team goes 1-0 up, there's space for you to get two or three which we should’ve gotten.
''I thought it was a much better, determined performance and I thought Daniel Cardoso, people think I’m mad but we don’t have anyone else, and I’ve worked with him a bit this week to play him in midfield and he was brilliant.
''We'll take just the three points [with us to our next game].
''We have two away games in Cape Town, and you know they are very good down there, it won’t be easy. Just thank goodness we'll be out of the heat a little bit because today was a really hot day.''