JOHANNESBURG – Gavin Hunt is adamant that Wits’ defensive frailties have pushed the team backwards in their quest to challenge for Absa Premiership honours.
For almost three-quarters of the season, Hunt’s Bidvest Wits held onto the summit of the log standings – looking as though they’d wrap up the championship well before the final day. However, Mamelodi Sundowns, who are now top, had other ideas and capitalised on one of their games in hand a fortnight ago against Cape Town City.
Down at Milpark, Wits dropped points at home against the chasing pack as they were held to a one-all draw by Sundowns, followed by a 3-2 loss to fourth-placed City on Saturday night.
“It was a great opportunity to jump a little bit, and give ourselves a bit of space,” Hunt said after the defeat.
“I still think that anybody can win this thing because the team are so inconsistent, and it’s bad. Everybody is in there. And everybody has come back (to catch up with us) because of our own doing.
“They haven’t been better than us, I just think we’ve gone backwards. And it’s only been purely defensive frailties, because we create a lot of chances.”
Those defensive frailties were really exploited by City as the Clever Boys squandered a 2-0 lead and gifted the visitors the points.
Bidvest Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the home side, as they’ve dropped more points there than on the road.
“Right now, I don’t want to play at home, because we can’t win,” Hunt acknowledged. “In the first round we beat all these teams away, (Orlando) Pirates, (Kaizer) Chiefs, Cape Town City, but in the second round, we haven’t done it. That’s the disappointing part. We can organise and get everyone settled, but the individual mistakes are crazy.”
The 54-year-old coach will have his wish for now, as he’ll be away to AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic in the next two matches.
Hunt, though, would have to make sure that his players bring their A-game and secure victories in those two games, as they will then be home against third-placed Pirates, who are also looking to close in on log leaders Sundowns. Furthermore, the former SuperSport United coach will be banking on improved officiating when they welcome the Sea Robbers.
“We’ve also got to get the rub of the green, because there were two penalties. Pelembe (was brought down), and there was a handball because the ball went into the hand and they didn’t give it (the officials),” Hunt recalled.
“But it is what it is, and we’ve got to knuckle down and get a few results.”