Gavin Hunt on Chiefs' league woes: I saw a huge psychological problem

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Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt
PA/Supplied
  • Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt said the team struggled with the mental residue of not winning the league last season.
  • Chiefs were log leaders for the better part of the season but were beaten to the title on the last day by Mamelodi Sundowns.
  • Chiefs though are doing well in the CAF Champions League after beating Simba SC 4-0 in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt says his team has battled with shrugging off last season's failed title run where they were pipped at the post by Mamelodi Sundowns.

Coached by Ernst Middendorp, Chiefs led for the bulk of the season, but were overtaken by Pitso Mosimane's Sundowns on the last day in the final round of fixtures.

That Chiefs have battled with that psychological residue has been apparent in the DSTV Premiership where they languish in 10th position with 30 points from 27 games with only six victories.

They've won only two of their last 10 league games, but they're in fine fettle in the CAF Champions League after breezing past Tanzania's Simba SC 4-0 on Saturday night in their quarterfinal first leg.

Hunt said they've strangely adapted better to continental football as compared to their ongoing domestic slog.

"When I came here, I saw a huge psychological problem and every time we'd concede early, we'd struggle because of what happened," Hunt said.

"Maybe when we play in the Champions League, there is less pressure, but the football is straightforward."

Hunt said the direct and methodical nature of the Champions League has played into the hands of his limited playing resources.

"The Champions League is a much predictable game where the action comes to you, while in the PSL, I've always said the players run faster than the ball," Hunt said.

"It's slower in the Champions League and it suits the group of players that we have because of the methodical and direct nature of the game.

"We've created similar chances in the PSL and sometimes, they go in, as they did in this game."

Hunt though is under no illusions as to what to expect for the return leg at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar-Es-Salaam on Saturday.

"We're the only team in the Champions League quarterfinals who are not top of the log, so it's a huge thing," Hunt said.

"However, it is only half time. We still must go there; they'll have a full stadium and it's going to be crazy there.

"We're going to have to be clever and not be negative."

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