Gavin Hunt says Thulani Hlatshwayo signing a new contract at Bidvest Wits was “never in doubt” and is hopeful the Clever Boys can start turning their home form around when they take on Stellenbosch FC in the Absa Premiership this evening.
Wits fended off interest from Orlando Pirates to tie the Bafana Bafana captain to a three-year extension.
“He has signed. It was never in doubt,” said Hunt yesterday. “Now he needs to knuckle down and show what he is about.”
Wits have continued on from last season in that their away form has been excellent in the 2019-20 campaign, but at home they have been poor, losing 1-0 in the league to Baroka FC and 3-0 in the MTN8 quarterfinals to SuperSport United.
That cup exit has meant a staggering of games for Wits, with their next game after tonight a Caf Confederation Cup match against Swaziland’s Young Buffaloes only after the September international break.
“It is a bit frustrating, but we were knocked out so it is our own fault,” said Hunt. “Our overall record at home in the last six years has been good.
“We have had a hiccup in the last two games [and last season], but before that we were brilliant. Even Man U and Spurs lost at home [last weekend in the Premier League]. We have to overcome it and be a bit better. They [Stellenbosch] will be fighting for their lives and we have to match their intensity.”
Wits have yet to score at home this season, while Stellenbosch have not hit the back of the net at all in their opening three games, with two goalless draws and a 1-0 defeat to Cape Town City.
“I have seen a few of their games. They are dogged, a typical Steve Barker team. They will be determined and we have to be careful. We don’t want to end up chasing the game, but we have to be a bit better at home.”
Wits will be without leftback Sifiso Hlanti, but hope to have him back in time to face Young Buffaloes.