Home Sport Cavin Johnson has a shot to win the hearts of Chiefs fans

Cavin Johnson has a shot to win the hearts of Chiefs fans

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The highly regarded clash against Orlando Pirates on Saturday at the FNB Stadium (3.30pm kick-off) has, for many years, been deemed the one match with the ability to make or break a coach’s career on the South African football scene.

Cavin Johnson (left) interim coach of Kaizer Chiefs speaks with Dillon Sheppard the team’s assistant coach. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

KAIZER Chiefs interim head coach Cavin Johnson may have been presented with an opportunity to seal his job on a permanent basis in the forthcoming Soweto derby.

The highly regarded clash against Orlando Pirates on Saturday at the FNB Stadium (3.30pm kick-off) has, for many years, been deemed the one match with the ability to make or break a coach’s career on the South African football scene.

In this regard, the 64-year-old Johnson could emerge as Chiefs’ saviour, and pioneer of an Amakhosi revival, or end up on the list of eight coaches fired in the past five years at the club.

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The Glamour Boys are focused on their meeting against their fiercest rivals this Saturday as they look to continue their league dominance in the fixture.

Chiefs have not lost to the Sea Robbers in league competition since 2021, when goals by Thembinkosi Lorch and Siphesihle Ndlovu saw Pirates over the line.

Since then, the Amakhosi have claimed five victories in a row, their only default coming in the Nedbank Cup last term – a competition Pirates went on to win.

In just his third game since taking over from Molefi Ntseki, Johnson has an opportunity to not only cement his place as the long-term leader of the club, but also appease the doubtful section of the Chiefs support base.

Over the years, we’ve seen coaches build a strong foundation at Chiefs by securing famous victories over their neighbours.

Stuart Baxter, the last Chiefs mentor to lead them to a league title, still has the most Soweto derby wins as a coach in the Premier Soccer League era, having led the Amakhosi to victory on five occasions.

His initial bond with the club’s supporters ensured he was backed for a second stint in 2021, until poor results and uninspiring displays saw him scurried out of the Naturena-based outfit.

With high-profile names like Pitso Mosimane and Marcel Koller being touted around the Chiefs corridors, alongside Spanish-born Raul Caneda, Johnson’s first derby is of huge significance.

It is no secret that Chiefs possess the biggest following in Mzansi, and that power also brings about an equal amount of pressure and talk.

The club’s supporters have heavily influenced the sackings of Baxter, Arthur Zwane and now Ntseki with various incidents of violence after a poor spate of results.

Therefore, it becomes no secret that if Johnson extends Chiefs’ dominance over a Pirates side that have been more successful recently, he could see himself receiving the backing of the club’s most powerful base.

Chiefs are currently placed nine points off the closest CAF place, having lost four of their past five DStv Premiership matches.

If Chiefs are to mount any serious challenge on continental football, Johnson’s side could use a Soweto derby victory as a springboard for a much-improved next five games of the first half of the season.

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