JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt is aware of his team’s issues in front of goal but believes that as long as they continue to create chances they’ll start hitting the back of the net.
Chiefs’ season-long transfer ban was bound to take a toll on the team this season but few would have predicted that things would be this bad, especially under the highly rated Hunt.
In the DStv Premiership, Chiefs have managed one win against Chippa United, one draw with TS Galaxy and lost to champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
In the MTN8, where four wins guarantee you a cheque for a cool R8-million and the first trophy of the campaign, Amakhosi started lukewarm as they laboured to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Maritzburg United to progress to the semi-finals.
But against Orlando Pirates they were humiliated 3-0 in the first leg of the Wafa Wafa competition last four away at the Orlando Stadium. On Sunday, Hunt and his troops will bring the contest home to FNB Stadium, hoping to overturn that deficit and reach the final.
That is easier said than done, though, considering that Chiefs have only scored two goals this season, the win against Chippa coming from an own goal.
But Hunt is not throwing in the towel just yet, insisting that goals can come from any department of their team.
“If you look at Orlando Pirates, they were also struggling to score and all of a sudden they got three against us. So these things can turn around very, very quickly. The most important thing is to continue to create opportunities,” Hunt said.
“But we certainly need to take them, there’s no two ways about it. In the last two games there’ve been some great opportunities. We’ve got to do better in front of goal, wherever the ball lands. We’ve got to spread the load a bit and get goals from other areas.”
Chiefs scored the most goals in the league last season as they nearly claimed the title. Their stranglehold over the opposition was through set-pieces, while their conductor up front was Samir Nurkovic, last season’s top goal scorer who’s out with a long-term injury.
The absence of Nurkovic has put Hunt’s back against the wall as he’s had to rotate his squad based on player availability. Khama Billiat, who was backed to take the baton from the Serbian, has battled to get the monkey off his back.
“I think he’s just got to get more work in on the training ground. I think when you are not scoring, at least you are creating and trying to work harder for the team, then the goals will come,” said Hunt about Billiat, who has two assists this season.
“The most important thing is the team must come first and he has to work harder. And he has done that, here and there. But he needs a little bit of consistency. What we can’t do at the moment is leave him out and give him a break because of our situation.”
Hunt is set to exchange blows with Pirates assistant coach Fadlu Davids on the touchline, instead of Josef Zinnbauer. The 50-year-old coach is currently back at home in Germany attending a family emergency after his son Fabio was involved in a nasty car accident.
But with the composition of the Pirates team set to stay the same, although they may miss last season’s top goal scorer Gabadinho Mhango and Thembinkosi Lorch due to injuries, Hunt doesn’t foresee any tactical changes under Davids.