Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt is pleased to have Willard Katsande and Lebogang Manyama back from suspension‚ and Siphelele Ntshangase back from injury‚ for Amakhosi’s big Premiership opener against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
If four-time league winner Hunt has relished challenges in his career‚ the meeting at FNB Stadium against champions Sundowns‚ who pipped Chiefs to the 2019-20 title on the final day early last month‚ certainly presents one.
Chiefs got off to a decent start under Hunt in their MTN8 quarterfinal against Maritzburg United on Sunday.
Having been fortunate not to go to the break more than a goal down in a disjointed opening half‚ Amakhosi showed character‚ rallied and found a far better structure in the second half to run out 2-1 winners.
Hunt is happy to have his key midfielders Manyama and Katsande‚ and the experience they bring‚ back against Sundowns‚ and the skilful Ntshangase – who has had a checkered career at Amakhosi but has obvious abilities – as a further option.
“We’ve got Manyama‚ Katsande and Ntshangase back. So it gives me a little bit extra to work with‚” Hunt said in his Thursday pre-match conference to Chiefs’ DStv Premiership opener.
“We’ll make a final call tomorrow on the team‚ and who’s going to play on Saturday. But it certainly does add a bit more to the strength and depth for the squad.”
The winning start against Maritzburg bolsters Hunt in the beginning to his first job at a big three club.
In contrast‚ Sundowns’ 1-0 MTN8 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday leaves Downs’ new coaching trio of Manqoba Mngqithi‚ Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela with perhaps something to prove still against Chiefs.
By MARC STRYDOM – TimesLIVE