WHEN Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt aggressively went into the market to bolster his squad during the recent transfer window, his intention was to have enough depth to have a good start to the season.
There was the MTN8 to defend, a long Absa Premiership battle and two domestic competitions. But as things stand, Wits have recorded a horrid start that Hunt cannot clearly explain.
And this isn’t a case of “why fix it if it ain’t broken” as the Clever Boys outfit that won the league and MTN8 double last year did need some fixing to reinvigorate itself. This need partially came about as a result of Buhle Mkhwanazi’s injury, meaning Slavko Damjanovic had to be thrown into the team quickly.
Nazeer Alli too is missing, with youngster Reeve Frosler starting and more changes needed in midfield. Phakamani Mahlambi left Wits for Africa team of the century Al Ahly, again bringing about a need for Hunt to “fix” matters.
But in the midst of all that, Wits started the league on a poor note, losing to Cape Town City and drawing to Free State Stars, who happen to be Wits’ hoodoo side. Benni McCarthy’s City then took matters further, beating Wits twice more in the MTN8 semifinal, knocking the Clever Boys out of the competition they were trying to defend. But Hunt is adamant that his team’s woes lie solely in the poor goals his side conceded.
“This is what we need to do – stop conceding poor goals from set plays,” Hunt said. “It’s been frustrating because we know we have been better but the results are not coming. “We are disappointed because we are better than these results.”
While there is an excuse for some of Hunt’s decisions, the reigning PSL coach of the year can’t adequately explain his decision to drop Gabadinho Mhango and Thabang Monare, who were the catalysts to his side winning the league last term.
The Clever Boys will look to fix all these issues by registering their first victory of the season when they host Golden Arrows tonight at Milpark Stadium in what would be a repeat of the MTN8 quarterfinal.
The match takes place tonight at 7.30pm. Arrows are yet to win since the season started, having drawn their opening two matches, earning just two points out of six.