posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com
The PSL decided to suspend domestic fixtures between December 21 and February 15 in a show of support for Bafana Bafana during next month’s African Nations Cup
Published: 2011/12/06 08:26:28 AM
Supersport United coach Gavin Hunt is dreading the eight-week premiership break that will be enforced by the 2012 African Nations Cup.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) decided to suspend domestic fixtures between December 21 and February 15 and cleared the local programme in a show of support for Bafana Bafana during next month’s African Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
But although Bafana failed to qualify for the continental showpiece, the PSL was forced to stick to the schedule — out of respect for the Confederation of African Football — and fixtures will resume only on February 15 after the Nations Cup has been played to its conclusion.
Domestic coaches are dreading the break as the momentum of those clubs that are on form will be broken when they sit idle for eight weeks.
United are perched at the premiership summit and Hunt said the break might give his rivals enough time to recover in the chase.
“The break will be a big problem because it means we have to start from scratch when we restart again next year,” Hunt said.
“What we do during that break will be absolutely crucial and will be key to our preparations for the remainder of the season.”
Hunt had reason to smile yesterday as he was named the best premiership coach in October- November. Bidvest Wits striker Ryan Chapman was acknowledged as the best player during the same period.
United remained unbeaten during those months and the Pretoria club look likely to retain their top spot till the end of the year.
“I think that 60 points will win the league this season. So, if we are able to amass between 30 and 31 points by Christmas, I will be happy,” Hunt said.
United have already amassed 28 points and have home games against fellow title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic before the break.
Second-placed Sundowns are three points behind SuperSport United and look like their biggest competitors this season.
But Hunt said there were several other dangerous rivals he had to worry about and Downs were just one of the teams that were keeping him on his toes.
“Look at the top four in the league standings. Any one of those teams can challenge for the league title and we have to be wary of them. They are all still right in the race.”
United are at the summit, Downs are second, surprise package Free State Stars are third, while Kaizer Chiefs are fourth.
Fifth-place Moroka Swallows, sixth-ranked Orlando Pirates, Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits complete the top eight and are all very much in the race.