October 26, 2021

Coronavirus: Bidvest Wits boss Hunt laments difficult fixture schedule

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The Clever Boys tactician looks at the challenges facing his troops as they look to wrap up the current campaign

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Bidvest Wits manager Gavin Hunt says they face an uphill battle in their remaining matches of the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

The Clever Boys have nine games to wrap up the campaign and the experienced boss says they require physical and psychological strength, although they will be professional until the end.

On the other hand, his counterpart at Baroka, Dylan Kerr, says playing the Nedbank Cup semi-final match against Bloemfontein Celtic next weekend without friendly matches is set to cause headaches when it comes to team selection.

“It’s difficult because we have so much to deal with. So, it’s not only the physical but psychological issues to deal with. We’ll see how it goes and we will show professionalism until the end,” Hunt told CityPress print version.

“In a normal pre-season, you would play five or six friendly games. We haven’t really done anything like that. Our programme will not be easy because we have so many catch-up games.”

The Braamfontein-based club was recently sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) and are set to face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semis next weekend at Orlando Stadium.

On the part of Bakgaga Ba Mphahele, Kerr says he hopes his men can overcome John Maduka’s Phunya Sele Sele for them to gain an advantage heading to the remaining matches in the league.

“It goes against everything a coach wants to do before any game. Never mind such a huge game. We normally need to play competitive games against good opponents to see the level [of fitness] of your team,” Kerr said.

“Now we have 25 players who want to play in the semi-final. Within our team, we have played 11 versus 11 – it’s very competitive and you risk injuries.

“If we win, it will give us good momentum going into other games. It would set us up nicely for the remaining league games and then the cup final.

“It’s our FA Cup and the biggest competition in the league for me. It’s the last cup of the season and what a way it would be to end the season on a high by winning it.”

Looking at Wits’ league schedule, they will clash against PSL table-toppers Kaizer Chiefs in their next match on Wednesday, August 12, and are currently sixth on the log with 38 points from 21 games.

Meanwhile, the Limpopo club will target a safe finish this term as they are involved in the relegation battle – they occupy the 13th spot with 23 points from 24 games so far.