Kaizer Chiefs defender dismisses talks of instability under Cavin Johnson

Cavin Johnson, interim coach of Kaizer Chiefs, will look into winning the Nedbank Cup to bring stability at Naturena. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu / BackpagePix

Cavin Johnson, interim coach of Kaizer Chiefs, will look into winning the Nedbank Cup to bring stability at Naturena. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu / BackpagePix

Published Jan 28, 2024


Kaizer Chiefs defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe has dismissed any talks of instability that may be caused by having an interim coach until the end of the season.

Amakhosi are currently hard at work preparing for the second round of the 2023/2024 DStv premiership campaign, which resumes on February 13.

Currently under the tutelage of interim head coach Cavin Johnson until June, the club will look to salvage what’s left of the season, with the Nedbank Cup and qualification for CAF competitions still up for grabs.

As the Naturena-based club continues to sharpen its tools for an all-out war next month, Ditlhokwe, one of the club’s key players, has spoken about how the players deal with this unorthodox set-up.

The 25-year old revealed that he and his teammates try by all means to avoid thinking about who holds the head coach position at the moment, but rather place a huge emphasis on their own performance.

“If you’re a player then your job is to play football; you don’t get engaged much on decisions that you don’t have power over,” he said

“I think the issue of the coach is the decision of the management of the team; as players, we have been hired to play football so we need to keep focusing on doing what we’re doing every day and everything else will take care of itself.”

The Botswana international defender has taken to life at Amakhosi with ease having started all the games he has been available for selection.

Ditlhokwe has made 16 appearances in all competitions this season, but missed the last month of the first round due to injury.

Since arriving at Chiefs from SuperSport United at the beginning of the season Ditlhokwe has enjoyed faith of both Molefi Ntseki, who was replaced by Johnson, while rotating Given Msimango, Njabulo Ngcobo and Edmilson Dove as his other centre-back partners.

The 65-year-old Johnson took over the reins from Molefi Ntseki in October, after a disappointing start for Amakhosi where they failed to win the MTN8 and the Carling Knockout Cup titles.

Under Johnson, the club have hit somewhat of a positive and finished the year by collecting 10 points from a possible 12. Chiefs were able to get positive results in the past four games, even though their performances still left a lot to be desired.

Johnson has become the ninth coach to hold the head coach slot in the past nine years at Chiefs, as they look to avoid an embarrassing ten-year run without a trophy.

The club have continuously been linked with various “big name” coaches from around the continent since the departure of Ntseki, with Pitso Mosimane’s name mentioned loudest.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns manager has however chosen to take his services to Saudi Arabian side Abha for at least the next four months.

Amakhosi currently hold sixth spot on the league standings and are five points off second-placed Cape Town City, a gap Johnson will feel is within reach considering there are 14 more games of the league season to go.

In the Nedbank Cup last 32, Chiefs are drawn against KwaZulu-Natal Motsepe Foundation Championship side, Milford FC.