Pretoria – Although it has been two weeks since the season started, coach Cavin Johnson is already feeling the heat, with SuperSport United's win on Tuesday only serving as a temporary reprieve.
“As a coach you will always be under pressure, it can never be relieved,” Johnson said after his team beat Chippa United 1-0 in a midweek Premiership fixture.
“It's just the nature of the game and one has to see how to deal with all of that while also expected to deliver the goods.”
The victory over the Chilli Boys at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, was Matsatsantsa's first of the new campaign.
Despite the result, the club would need to address its two biggest shortcomings during play – co-ordination in defence and finishing in front of goal.
Having set themselves a high bar for the season, SuperSport had begun proceedings in horrendous fashion, suffering two defeats before clinching their first victory. They lost 2-1 to Orlando Pirates in the season-opening MTN8 competition and fell to Wits 1-0 at home in the Premiership.
SuperSport director of football Stan Matthews said the win against Chippa was critical and the club would be expected to win most of the upcoming fixtures.
“Cavin has a lot of pressure on him and every game moving forward is going to be high pressure. When Cavin came in, he knew that he's got a short-term contract with us and he needs to deliver to keep that contract. But we are confident that he will,” Matthews said.
“If we don't expect to get three points at home against a side like Chippa then there is something wrong.”
Matthews said the club management had taken up the issue of the poor start with the players and they would expect improved dedication in coming matches.
“We started terribly against Pirates – we were really pathetic and it was an embarrassing performance. Although we only lost 2-1
it could have been five.
“The players have admitted they were really poor and apologised for that performance.”
SuperSport's head honcho said although they began to show signs of improvement, there was still a lot of work that needed to be done in training sessions.
“Against Wits, we missed a lot of opportunities and we felt that we should have won. If we converted half the chances we created, we would have won well.”
Matthews said Johnson's job could be on the line if the team did not have an improved season.
“It's disappointing that all of last season we didn't make any cup finals. We qualified for the top eight on the last day.”
The management had assembled a strong squad which was good enough to contest for championships, Matthews said.
“When we look across the league, we feel we should be trading blows with the best. We feel we should be challenging for the league and for cup finals. We have got a very good, solid squad.”
Having overachieved in the last decade, winning three Premiership titles, the club had a predisposition for success, he said.
“People see SuperSport as a small club but inside the club there is a high expectation on results. We have won the league three times and we have made a lot of cup finals, and so we expect excellence in the club.” – Sapa