Cavin Johnson feels Kaizer Chiefs are back on track after Golden Arrows win

Wandile Duba (second from right) is congratulated by his Kaizer Chiefs teammates after scoring the winning goal against Golden Arrows on Tuesday night. Photo: BackpagePix

Wandile Duba (second from right) is congratulated by his Kaizer Chiefs teammates after scoring the winning goal against Golden Arrows on Tuesday night. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 7, 2024


Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson has made a bold claim ahead of Saturday’s Soweto derby against arch-rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium.

Chiefs registered their first win of the year on Tuesday night – ending a three-game winless and goalless streak – as they beat Golden Arrows 1-0.

That win, which was inspired by Wandile Duba’s solo goal, couldn’t have come at a better time for the Amakhosi, who’ll visit the Buccaneers in their next clash.

A Soweto derby win is one of the two things – alongside a top-three finish in the DStv Premiership – that Chiefs can still salvage from the season.

The Glamour Boys have stretched their barren run to nine seasons, having missed out on the MTN8, Carling Knockout and Nedbank Cup, while the league title is also out of reach.

So, with the derby next on their radar of the things they could still salvage this season, Johnson seems to be positive.

“We are happy that we have our eight clean sheets, and we scored a goal. We are back, back on track!” he said after the win over Arrows.

“We gained three points, whereas last week, we lost two points. We are okay. We just must go on and fight for the next game (which is against Pirates).”

Johnson is right, they must fight for the derby. Not only do they need the win to boost their season, but they’ll be wearing the underdogs tag.

Sure, Pirates haven’t been at their best either, but they’ve been better than Chiefs – they are tipped to finish in the top three in the league and win a cup double.

On top of being in the top-three race, Pirates are the MTN8 champions and in the Nedbank Cup last 16 where they’ll face NFD side Hungry Lions next Saturday.

So, knowing the importance of finishing the season on a high and winning the derby, Johnson has urged his troops to give it their all.

“When you work and when you play for Kaizer Chiefs, the biggest problem is that you have to be at the top of yourself all the time,” he said.

“You have to play at a certain level all the time. You don’t have time to give 80% in this team. You must play at 100% all the time.

“And that is why when you look at the league competition, (you’ll notice) that we haven’t conceded in eight games.”

Bruce Bvuma’s seven clean sheets in the last eight games in all competitions has been a highlight recently, given their bluntness up front.

The Chiefs goalkeeping department also received a morale boost ahead of the derby as Itumeleng Khune returned from suspension yesterday.

Khune was separated from the first team duties for the last three months following acts of misconduct.

But with his protégé Bvuma having done well for the team recently, Johnson said that they are upbeat about the good run of defensive performances, though they must continue to improve.

“That (clean sheets) is only a little bit of relief for us as technicians. Goalkeepers must make saves, defenders must defend, and the strikers must score,” he said.

“In its simplest form, that is how it is in football. But, when you play for Kaizer Chiefs, you must do more. If I defend (as a striker), you must score (as a defender).”