Kaizer Chiefs head coach Gavin Hunt says he has been working with the team under the assumption that the club’s player transfer ban imposed by Fifa would not be overturned.
This assertion was confirmed a few hours before Chiefs’ opening DStv Premiership fixture against Chippa United on Tuesday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that its panel, had dismissed the appeal lodged by Amakhosi last month.
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the international arbitration body upheld Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber decision, meaning Chiefs will not be able to register new players for two consecutive transfer windows.
They were found guilty of illegally signing Madagascan international midfielder, Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana in 2018.
“I have been working in the last month under the illusion that it’s not gonna be turned it over. You know there are certain players that we lack on certain positions but it is what it and we must live with it,” said Hunt shortly after he registered his first league victory of the campaign in two matches.
The 56-year-old got a baptism of fire in his debut when Amakhosi were walloped 3-0 by defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium last weekend.
However, Hunt believes Chiefs were in “much better shape” in their rather fortuitous 1-0 away win over Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday night, courtesy of defender Gregory Damons’ own goal late in the second half.
Hunt explained: “I would try and improve the team, the players. I thought there were certain glimpses and I thought our shape was much better. But every game will give you a different problem. The only thing, obviously I thought we created some good opportunities but we didn’t score. We hit the post – I don’t know how many times, which was a bit frustrating.
“You could see there was a bit of tension setting in the end and that’s natural. When we lose like we did on the weekend [against Sundowns] you gonna get a little bit of that. So we’ll take one step forward, and try and go from here,” he said.
Asked if the victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday was a confidence booster ahead of the MTN8 semifinal Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates on Saturday, Hunt said: “I wouldn’t say confidence but [the win over Chippa] certainly put us in a better perspective for the next game. I was more embarrassed on Saturday from a personal perspective but it’s history now.”
The former Bidvest Wits coach said he now has “a little bit of better understanding of some of the players”.
“I want the team to play with much more pressing style ... that’s what I like and what I want. I like high energy, distances [covered] must be equal. From a football perspective, we haven’t been good at that.
We played excellent football [against Chippa] at times.”
Hunt hailed the performances of 20-year-old attacking midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who was voted man of the match.
“He’s got more in him but let’s take one step at a time with him. The next step is for him to make it to the score sheet,” Hunt said.