Soccer

Hunt wary of 'new' Arrows

2011-10-20 16:50
Gavin Hunt (File)

Johannesburg - SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt expects to meet an improved Golden Arrows in their Telkom Knockout Last 16 encounter at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.

United are the only team yet to be beaten in the league this season and top the log standings, while struggling Arrows are looking to find some stability under Muhsin Ertugral having fired fellow German trainer, Ernst Middendorp last month.

"They have Muhsin there now," said Hunt.

"And every time there is a new coach, certainly the first five games worldwide, statistics will tell you that there is always upsets and an improved performance.

"We need to be up for it or we will come out second best and lose."

Hunt wants to progress as far as he can in the cup competition to keep his side active as they look to maintain their form in search of the bigger accolade - the 2011/12 season league title.

Amatsatsantsa a Pitori won three successive league crowns between 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 before losing their grip on the title with a bad last campaign.

"We like to obviously think it is important for us to try (winning this trophy)," Hunt said.

"The number of games we are going to play will be [on] Wednesday and Tuesday. So it is important for us to keep something going and try and stay in the cup.

"As you know in South Africa if you get knocked out in the cup you sit and wait (being inactive), and we don't want to go through that again."

Coming off a clinical 7-0 league win over Maritzburg United last weekend, the Pretoria-based outfit will enter the fray as favourites to beat Arrows and get into the cup quarter-final draw hat.

Hunt said he would seek to rotate his squad to give some game time to some of his bench warmers.

Bafana Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus who is struggling for game time with Ayatuse Nyondo, Ashley Hartog and Anthony Laffor are the first in line for some time on the pitch.

"I will try and rotate the squad a little bit as well, I think we have a few players that need to play," he said.

"I think it is important for us to try and keep momentum there because of the games that are coming up.

"We will play lot of games every two or three days so we will need everybody and it's important to try as much as possible to give players a chance."

This is not an indication of underestimating a talented Arrows side who boast class in their squad including captain and Bafana midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni, defender Robyn Johannes and deadly Zambian striker Collins Mbesuma.

"I think Arrows will be up for us, there is no doubt about that," said Hunt.

"They are a good side with a lot of good players, I mean the game is even so I don't even think there is favourites.

"The only thing that helps us a little is our home ground advantage but I don't think in a cup competition they have anything to lose.

"They might play a little easier in the cup from the situation they find themselves in [in the league]."

Read more on:    telkom knockout  |  gavin hunt
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