Golden Arrows clash could be a double-edged sword for Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs' head coach Cavin Johnson. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Kaizer Chiefs' head coach Cavin Johnson. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Published Mar 5, 2024


Kaizer Chiefs have their work cut out for them in their bid to finish the DStv Premiership campaign on a high after falling on hard times in recent months.

Chiefs are enduring a three-game winless start to the year. They have drawn all three matches, two in the league and one in the Nedbank Cup. That slump has been propelled by their inability to score goals, as they’ve gone 309 minutes without finding the back of the net, albeit keeping three clean sheets.

However, Chiefs can still save their season by finishing in the top three on the log and qualifying for either the CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup. But interim coach Cavin Johnson knows that’s easier said than done. And that’s why he’s made a plea to his troops ahead of the last 12 games in the league.

“We’ve got to make sure that every game that we play is a cup final,” Johnson said. “We also know that every team we play against plays as if it’s a cup final

“We’ve got our work cut out for us, so we’ve got to make sure that we stay on top of our game for as long as we can.”

Chiefs will face Golden Arrows in their next league encounter at home, FNB Stadium, this evening hoping to bounce back to winning ways in all competitions. And while Chiefs have been on a low, failing to win the last four games in all competitions, Johnson and his troops pride themselves on something.

“We haven’t lost a game in the last six games (in the league). So, we can take a little bit of arrogance from that. But the bottom line is we need the points,” he said.

The Arrows clash could prove to be a double-edged sword for Kaizer Chiefs, who will face arch-rivals Orlando Pirates in the Soweto derby on Saturday.

Chiefs can fully focus on Abafana Bes’thende, and if they win, it would be a huge morale boost going into the derby where the aim is to make up for back-to-back losses.

Or Johnson’s men might put all their eggs in one basket by focusing on the Pirates game and end up dropping points against Arrows, something that won’t help their cause either. But Chiefs prefer the former.

Bruce Bvuma concedes that while the derby is the most sought-after game of the season, the other fixtures are still as important.

“When you play for Chiefs, you are always under pressure – under pressure to perform, win games and cups,” Chiefs’ No 1 explained.

“So, going into the game against Pirates, this is one game that when they release the fixtures at the start of the season, you check when the derby is. But we also have games to play in-between …

“I believe that the games in-between are equally important as the derby. We are taking each game as it comes.”

A win over Arrows wouldn’t only see Chiefs bounce back to winning ways, revenge their earlier loss in the season or give them a boost ahead of the derby.

But it would also add more woes to Arrows who are enduring a 10-games winless run in all competitions. But again, Chiefs still have their work cut out for them.