Kaizer Chiefs turn their attention to Premiership football on Sunday when they host arch rivals Orlando Pirates in the latest instalment of the Soweto Derby.
JOHANNESBURG – Coach Gavin Hunt is pleased with Kaizer Chiefs’ performances in the last few matches, saying his troops have been giving him their all and he can’t fault them for the unfortunate results.
Since the 4-0 defeat by African giants Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League group stage late last month, Chiefs have enjoyed a decent patch.
They are unbeaten in their last three matches after one win and two draws.
On Tuesday night they shared the spoils with Petro de Luanda away in their fourth game of the group stage in the continental showpiece. The result placed them third in Group C with five points, level with Horoya Athletic Club, who are second.
“I am obviously disappointed but you’ve got to take a lot of things into consideration. I think we’ve been going for a good few months now,” Hunt said after the goalless draw with Petro at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Talatona, Angola.
The Glamour Boys turn their attention to Premiership football this weekend when they host arch rivals Orlando Pirates in the latest iteration of the Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
After that, they’ll have a two-week hiatus due to the Fifa international break.
“We’ve got to get through the weekend and then we need a break,” Hunt said.
“We’ve got one last push over the weekend and then there’s the Fifa break. That’s going to help us to revive because you can see there’s mental fatigue because of playing up and down.”
Pirates are wearing the cap of the favourites heading into the 100th instalment of the Derby in the league – and fourth of the season.
This term they have defeated Chiefs in all three meetings, twice in the MTN8 cup and once in the league.
Pirates are also unbeaten in their last nine matches, with seven wins and two draws.
They are third on the league standings with 35 points, four behind leaders and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who have three games in hand.
Hunt, nonetheless, has been impressed with the performance of his charges in the last few weeks, saying: “They’ve given me their all. The most important thing is that they are fighting, working hard and doing their best. We can’t fault the players.”
Pirates, the MTN8 champions, will clash with the Brazilians in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup on Thursday, April 15. Chiefs, meanwhile, can only end their five-year trophy drought if they win the Champions League, as they trail Sundowns by 19 points.
Chiefs’ pursuit of a first Champions League crown is easier said than done. They’ll have to win their last two matches in the group stage – away to Horoya and at home against Wydad – to ensure they qualify for the quarter-finals.
Their league campaign also needs intense focus as they’ll be gutted if they don’t qualify for the top eight for the second time in three seasons. They are 11th on the standings, five points behind eighth position.