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SuperSport’s Gavin Hunt to challenge players’ mentality as league resumes during holiday period

Johannesburg – SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt has vowed to challenge the mentality of his players ahead of the unusual resumption of the DStv Premiership.

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For the first time ever, domestic football will plough on through the holiday period as local action returns on December 30 following the conclusion of the World Cup.

Matsatsantsa, although boasting some experienced campaigners in their camp, have handed ample opportunities to youngsters over the years and this campaign has been no different with potential future stars facing up to the hardships of this unique season.

Hunt has admitted that he and his side will have to sail in unfamiliar waters during this time but has reaffirmed the importance of his group having the right mental approach in their upcoming fixtures.

“It’s all about the mentality at this point because this is a different scenario, this has never happened before,” he said.

“Normally we would play until the 21st (of December) and we start back again in the middle of January or even at the end of January if we have the nations cup (Afcon).

“So for us, the mentality is going to have to be right because as you can see, everyone around you is on holiday in terms of family and friends but we had a two-week break and that was our Christmas. But we should be fine”

The 58-year-old’s return has seemingly reinvigorated the Pretoria-based club, surprising many with some entertaining displays on their way to a respectable third spot on the log.

SuperSport have emerged victorious in five of their last seven league matches, losing just one and drawing the other.

Hunt has facilitated the re-emergence of Tyson Hlatshwayo and Grant Margeman while also encouraging youngsters like Talent Mbatha and Keagan Johannes.

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The former Kaizer Chiefs coach, although pleased, was realistic about his team’s progress and their potential.

“The secret to any successful team is that you need to have a mentally strong group,” he said.

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“It takes time and sometimes it will take moving players in and out of the club, getting the right balance and mix. I’ve only been here for a short period of time but from what we’ve done so far, it certainly feels like we’re moving in the right direction, but the bottom line is results.“

Matsatsantsa will return to action against Gallants on December 30, before travelling to face Cape Town City four days later.

@ScribeSmiso

IOL Sport

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