Poor defence has cost Wits, says coach Gavin Hunt
When Bafana Bafana beat Libya last month to book their place at the Africa Cup of Nations finals‚ four of the five players in the backline were from Bidvest Wits.
It will come as a surprise then when club coach Gavin Hunt pinpoints poor defence as the reason for his club’s slump in the second half of the season‚ which has seen them go from a strong lead in the Premier Soccer League title race to now chasing after Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Defensively is where it went wrong‚" he said.
"If you look at our first round‚ we conceded 11 goals in 15 games. I think it’s already about 26 goals now for the season.”
That is with Bafana regulars Darren Keet in goal and Sifiso Hlanti‚ Thulani Hlathswayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi in the back four.
“And to make matters worse we were up in all the games we lost.
“We were 2-0 up against Arrows … 2-2. We were 2-0 up against Cape Town City and lost 3-2. Then 1-0 up against Celtic … 2-1 loss.
“These were home games that we lost and that’s never previously been a problem for us.
“You can use the old adages of lack of concentration and slackness but there have also been a lot of quality goals scored against us.
“I’d like to take highlights clips of some of the goals scored against us recently and put them together. Freekicks!
"I’ve never seen freekicks like them before.
“(Ruzaigh) Gamaldien almost scored against us last Friday for Chippa with a brilliant effort in the top corner.
“Jabu Maluleke has hit three in the top corner against us this season. (Riyad) Norodien hit the top corner against us but the next week he hits the corner flag!
“We’ve had eight or nine top quality freekicks scored against us this season. But that isn’t an excuse.
“Defence has been our problem. It’s been poor.
“We are not blessed with the best talent in the forward areas but we’ve got workers and I always say that‚ in this league‚ if you score you need to defend. That’s where teams like Pirates and Sundowns have done well.
“We are experienced enough to be better in that department but we haven’t been‚” Hunt added.