Home Sport SuperSport’s Gavin Hunt prefers North African opponents

SuperSport’s Gavin Hunt prefers North African opponents

184

As tough as SuperSport United’s CAF Confederation Cup schedule looks, with Matsatsansa a Pitori grouped with three teams from North Africa, the multiple domestic championship winning coach is contented.

Supersport United Coach Gavin Hunt. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, African News Agency (ANA)

GAVIN Hunt would not have it any other way. As tough as SuperSport United’s CAF Confederation Cup schedule looks, with Matsatsansa a Pitori grouped with three teams from North Africa, the multiple domestic championship winning coach is contented.

“I prefer it this way,” Hunt said, deep in the bowels of the Peter Mokaba Stadium where SuperSport will host defending champions USM Alger of Algeria on Sunday afternoon (3pm).

“The North African teams are all pretty similar, whereas when you play teams from west, central or even southern Africa you never really know what to expect.

“But with these ones (North Africans), you can prepare because they are more structured. Their game mentality and management is much better as is their football intelligence. So you know what to expect.”

That knowledge did not help him in the opening match last weekend, though, his SuperSport losing 0-1 to Egypt’s Modern Future in Cairo.

Hunt, though, remains confident that they can turn things around and still progress to the knock-out stages.

“Tomorrow (Sunday) is a big game to get us going in the group. If we want to stay competitive, we need to try and win those. Three home games give you nine points and I believe that will take you into the next round. So the home games are very important and with the North African teams, you know that they are very different when you host them and when you are playing them away.”

He is hopeful that the lack of crowd support will work in his team’s favour.

“We are playing against a very good side with a good pedigree in the competition and we don’t know too much about them. But I hope they will get a bit of a shock because there’ll be no support (like they are used to getting in their own backyard).”

The SuperSport vs USM Alger clash is the first of a strange Confederation Cup double header at the Limpopo arena that hosted some Fifa 2010 World Cup matches.

Six hours after that kick-off, Sekhukhune United are hosting Diables Noir of the Congo Brazzaville at 9pm.

It is unlikely there’ll be any crowd watching, but that does not bother Sekhukhune coach Lehlohonolo Seema, who is delighted to be making his continental debut.

“We are ready and we want to go further in this competition,” said the man who recently joined Sekhukhune from across the road at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, where he was head of Polokwane City’s technical team.

“As long as the referee and the ball are there, whether it is two or three people in the stadium watching we want to get the three points.

“I am humbled by what Sekhukhune have done. They have given me an opportunity and experience because just like the club, it is my first time in a CAF competition. However, the ball is still round and we still have to work hard.”

Sekhukhune and Diables lost their opening matches last weekend and Seema, and his counterpart Cyril Donga, agreed that the tie is tantamount to being a do-or-die affair.

While Donga said they knew nothing about Sekhukhune, he said they wouldn’t be in the competition were they not a good team and he expected a tough match.

It makes for a fascinating clash, despite the late kick-off.

Previous articleStellenbosch FC storm into Carling Knockout Cup final after brushing Richards Bay aside
Next articleNorthern Cape High invited to 2024 Kearsney Easter Festival