With two men short, Amakhosi beat their Moroccan visitors to make their final group match against Horoya AC into a must-win contest
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt says “slowly and surely” the mental attitude of his team is improving after Saturday’s 1-0 Caf Champions League Group C win over Wydad Casablanca at FNB Stadium.
Bernard Parker scored three minutes into the second half to decide the match for Amakhosi.
It was Chiefs’ second straight high profile win after they went into the Wydad game fresh from dismissing Orlando Pirates in the Soweto derby on March 21.
Impressively on Saturday, Chiefs overpowered Wydad with nine men following red cards to goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and striker Samir Nurkovic, who will both miss the trip to Horoya AC for their must-win final group game.
“We know what to expect when we go there [to Guinea] next week, what else can we do? At the start of the season that was my primary focus [working on the team’s mentality] because the mentality is the most important thing,” Hunt told the media.
“There was a huge setback after what happened last season. There was a huge mental meltdown. I think sometimes they [players] need time away from the game, which they haven’t had. If you understand football, sometimes less is better. We need a few days just not to train, to get away.
“But slowly and surely I see a mental turnaround in the team and that is important and we expect that every week. I can understand the huge setback from last season when we got so close. We now need a good mental attitude.
“I went there [to Horoya as Bidvest Wits coach] last year. We had a similar situation like we had tonight. It is not going to be easy. Yes we should have beaten Horoya here, it certainly would have helped. We then went away to Wydad and you could have seen how it was there, it was crazy. It baffles me how we got into this situation.”
In the reverse fixture against Horoya, third-placed Chiefs were held 0-0 at home in a match Hunt says they should have won.
The Soweto giants have eight points, the same as second-placed Horoya, creating a situation that makes the match in Conakry a potentially stormy one as both sides need the points to progress to the quarter-finals.
The Chiefs coach was also impressed with the way they beat Wydad Casablanca, especially holding on to the victory with two men down.
“It was a very dominant performance. Obviously well-deserved. In the first half it was even we really had some good opportunities,” continued Hunt.
“I thought we were going to struggle along in the game and then we scored and we did what we had to do in the last 10 minutes but I think it was a well-deserved victory.”