We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

'I have little to do with Chiefs' trophy drought'

Johnson won’t take nine-year failure on his shoulders

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Siyabonga Nzama of Milford and Sibongiseni Mthethwa of Chiefs in an aerial battle during the Nedbank Cup game.
Siyabonga Nzama of Milford and Sibongiseni Mthethwa of Chiefs in an aerial battle during the Nedbank Cup game.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Kaizer Chiefs caretaker coach Cavin Johnson has implied that it’d be unfair to bring up his name in the conversation of the club’s prolonged trophy drought and struggles.

Chiefs, who last won a trophy when they were crowned league champions in the 2014/15 season under Stuart Baxter, hit a new low when they were elbowed out of the Nedbank Cup by second-tier side Milford in the first round at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

The 5-4 penalty shootout defeat has now extended Amakhosi’s trophy drought to eight seasons. Johnson, who only replaced Molefi Ntseki on a caretaker basis in October, has suggested that it’d be unjust for people to say he’s contributed to the failure of winning cups at Naturena. Johnson initially joined Chiefs as head of academy in September last year.

“As a coach now... do I have to take nine years on my shoulders? That’s a lot of years. We have to do proper inspection on what we have to do in order to make it a better season… to finish the season on a high, so that we can show the people and the public that we are building,” Johnson said after the Milford defeat. 

As much as he’s an interim coach, Johnson is the eighth man to be hired as a coach at Chiefs since they won their last trophy. Johnson’s temporary tenure at Naturena is preceded by Steve Komphela, Giovanni Solinas, Ernst Middendorp, Gavin Hunt, Baxter (for second stint), Arthur Zwane and Ntseki. 

A former assistant to Pitso Mosimane at Al Ahly, Johnson still thinks losing to Milfiord, who are one point away from relegation in the Motsepe Foundation Championship, won’t damage his reputation as a coach who has done well in the past. One of Johnson’s highlights as a coach was guiding less-fancied Platinum Stars to finish second in the league in the 2012/13 season.

“I’ve lost other games like this. I don’t think it will damage my reputation when you see the way the team played. I’d have said my reputation was going to be damaged if we didn’t attack and we didn’t attempt to score goals. If we made tactical and technical blunders maybe my reputation was going to be at stake but I think my reputation is still intact,” Johnson stated.

Edson Castillo is the only Chiefs player who missed his spot-kick in a game where Ranga Chivaviro couldn’t convert from spot in extra time, forcing the game to go to penalties. Milford goalkeeper saved Chavaviro’s penalty in extra time, before scoring the winner in the shootout.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.