On Saturday evening at Goble Park Stadium, where the Clever Boys had travelled to face Free State Stars in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup, it was no different.The venue has twice been the setting for heartache for Hunt and his men after they were booted out of the Telkom Knockout opening round by Ea Lla Koto back in September with a 1-0 narrow defeat.
Wits held on for a bit longer at the weekend until they came unstuck during the penalty shoot-outs, with the home side emerging as 5-4 victors todump them out of another competition.
While there are five matches – tough fixtures at that – still remaining in the Absa Premiership title race, Wits’ inconsistency in the league certainly gives log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns the upper hand and confronts Hunt with the reality that third time might not be such a charm.
The Clever Boys have finished third in two consecutive seasons and are currently six points behind Sundowns, who have suffered massive disappointments themselves when they missed out on a place in the CAF Champions League group stages and were denied the chance to defend their Nedbank Cup title – all in one week.
”In the three years I have been here, we have made record points (in the league) since 1964. We have done okay with what we’ve got. In the time I have been here I have only bought two players (the rest were free agents or signed on pre-contracts) and that means the club has made money, big money in the market selling players,” said Hunt.
”We haven’t won a trophy, which is how you get judged, but we shouldn’t be winning trophies – Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns should be winning trophies. And maybe SuperSport United. It has been disappointing to lose in the cups, against Stars twice, and Ajax. But you can’t judge on the cups, I don’t care what anybody says.
If anybody judges people on cups, then you have got a problem. You judge on the league. We will beat this team (Free State Stars) by 25 points in the league this season. It’s the same with Ajax; they beat us in the cup, but we are 20 points ahead of them right now.”With no league medal to dangle around his neck in his stint at Wits so far, how then is Hunt expected to be assessed?
“I don’t think we have ever had the squad. Until I have a goalkeeping department that is worth R10-million in salaries, and a right-back or left-back worth R8-million then we will compete.
We don’t have that,” the coach explained.”We will go from these players to kids because we have instead turned players into Bafana players, better players and saleable players. If you are turning players into saleable players, you are doing something right. We haven’t won anything, but we are close. It is disappointing; we are all disappointed, but we are getting closer.”
Original source: Disappointed Hunt defiant after Wits' Cup defeat