Kaizer Chiefs’ interim coach, Cavin Johnson, has faced an early blow as he begins his tenure at the helm of Amakhosi.
On Tuesday, Johnson was named the replacement for Ntseki Molefi, who parted ways with the Soweto giants.
Ntseki had taken over from Arthur Zwane after an underwhelming 2022/23 season. However, the former Bafana Bafana coach could not hit the ground running.
And now, Johnson, formerly Pitso Mosimane’s assistant at Al Ahly, is the man to steer the Amakhosi ship.
The 64-year-old mentor recently joined Chiefs as head of academy, but now has to step in as acting head coach.
But his tenure starts with bad news, with one of the club’s key players being ruled out for a lengthy spell.
On Saturday, Ntseki had to do without three of his senior players in the 1-0 loss that decided his fate. That result saw them booted out of the Carling Knockout Cup on Saturday.
In that game, Ntseki had to do without the services of Sifiso Hlanti, Brandon Petersen, and Ashley Du Preez.
WHAT’S THE MAJOR SETBACK CAVIN JOHNSON IS FACED WITH?
“I think in the last game we played against Cape Town City, Hlanti was injured before that game,” said Ntseki. He was going through the return to training in terms of the preparations going into that game.
Tebogo Potsane and Ashley Du Preez of Kaizer Chiefs in action.
Tebogo Potsane and Ashley Du Preez
“George [Matlou] and Brandon [Petersen] got injured a day before we played Cape Town City. So, George recovered in time for him to be available for selection. But as for Petersen, he is still going through a return to go to training.”
“Unfortunately, for Ashley Du Preez, he got injured a day before we teamed in for the captain’s run.
“So, those are the injuries sustained leading into this game. But we have quality players in the team.”
Of the trio, Du Preez, who suffered an ankle injury, looks likely to be out of action until early 2024. The 26-year-old has been a key player for Chiefs this season, scoring three goals and providing two assists in 11 appearances across all competitions.
Johnson would have loved to have him as he returned to the dugout. His first assignment is an away game to Golden Arrows at the Mpumalanga Stadium in KZN on Saturday.
The injury to Du Preez is a setback for Johnson, who wants to get his reign as Chiefs coach off to a winning start. He must ensure that his team does not miss Du Preez’s pace and creativity too much. Johnson could opt to play Christian Saile on the wing.
Meanwhile, Edmilson Dove also had to be substituted on Saturday after sustaining an injury. He could be another player to sit it out as Johnson guides Amakhosi.