Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt is mixing optimism with caution ahead of Saturday’s MTN8 semi-final first leg showdown with arch-rivals Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium.
Hunt has been with Chiefs for about a month now following the departure of Ernst Middendorp.
Middendorp and his predecessors Steve Komphela and Giovanni Solinas both failed to help the club win silverware and its now five years since Amakhosi last tasted glory – when they won the league in 2014/15 under Stuart Baxter.
Hunt admitted that he’s eyeing success in the MTN8 as a means to settle in and build confidence – not only for himself but for his players.
But he’s also pragmatic enough to know that it’s not easy to hit the ground running and immediately get the players to buy into his footballing philosophies.
“It’s a great opportunity to get yourself in a cup final so early in a season‚ which I always think helps with momentum going forward‚” Hunt was quoted saying by Businesslive.
“The good thing is we’ve got two games in the semifinal‚ in a home and away situation.
“But I mean‚ for us‚ for me‚ being new at the club it’s just about trying to find out about the players a bit more every day‚ every game. And trying to find a way of playing that suits the players more. That’s the most important.
“You know‚ I can’t come in here and just bash the door down. We’ve got to try and find a way that suits what we’ve got‚ and try and take it a step forward every time.”
Hunt has arrived at Amakhosi in the middle of a transfer ban, which has made his task all the harder.
With that in mind, he has tempered expectations to an extent.
“Obviously the magnitude of the club is huge and they expect to win trophies on a regular basis‚” he admitted. “But you’ve also got to look at a lot of things. Why they have been five seasons [without winning a trophy].
“I already know what we need and don’t need. But that can only come out on the training ground working with the players‚ and try to improve the squad we’ve got and take it from there.
“So ja‚ anybody in their right mind wouldn’t not want to make it to a final and try and take it one step further. But sometimes it takes a little bit longer.”
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