We will get better – Hunt

Gavin Hunt says his Kaizer Chiefs side will improve as they face the prospect of an MTN8 semifinal tie against Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates.

Chiefs scraped through to the last four with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United in their quarterfinal on Sunday, which was also a first game in charge for new coach Hunt.

After falling behind to a Thabiso Kutumela goal in the first half, Chiefs responded with a quick double from an unlikely source, young defender Yagan Sasman, just the second time he has ever found the back of the net in his professional career. 

“I think first half we were still on the bus, we were all over the show,” Hunt said. “We were pulled apart. I’m trying to instil a couple of things, but it’s difficult in a week and a half. And then I made the changes which it was inevitable to do. We changed the shape a bit.

“I thought a guy like Bernard Parker, he was unbelievable today. He was fantastic, playing out of position. But you know, we showed a bit of grit. But I’m trying to instil the mentality into the team. That’s the most important thing.”

Hunt admits his side suffered from a lot of rust in their season opener, which they will have to work through quickly.

“First half, certainly not good. No one generally plays well in their first game of the season. We were a little bit rusty here and there. But the things we are trying to implement will take time and hopefully, this will give us some momentum going forward and we’ll try next week again. We’ll get a few players back.”

He also had praise for a number of youngsters who played in the game, which might be a sign of things to come with the club still under a transfer ban imposed by Fifa.

“I thought the kids did well again. I thought the goal scorer [Sasman], he’s a player for me. He can play. [Njabulo] Blom came in, changed the game. He’s another one, a youngster. Happy [Mashiane] came in on the left. These are the ones for the future. 

“I’ve got a few more here. I’ll keep blooding them and keep playing them. But we can’t play them just for the sake of playing them. We’ve got to play them for the right reasons. It’ll take hopefully not too much time.”

Chiefs’ next fixture is their DStv Premiership opener at home to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.