Demolition job pleases Johnson
Cavin Johnson (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Having watched his team demolish defending Premiership champions Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson praised his side for a dominant second half performance, following a disappointing opening 45 minutes.
"The first half was theirs (Chiefs); they played very good football and they got the goals," Johnson said after the game.
"But I think we weren't moving correctly, but in the second half, we took the game to Chiefs.
"We were able to get the goals and I thought our wing play was a little bit better in the second half."
The visitors from Soweto took the lead on the half-hour mark through Bernard Parker from the penalty spot, before Enocent Mkhabela's thunderous left-footed strike pulled United level 10 minutes after the break.
Then, 20 minutes from time, Bennett Chenene put Matsatsantsa ahead, before Bradley Grobler scored from a penalty four minutes later, outscoring Chiefs by three goals in a second half dominated by a rampant United side.
Johnson said his team could not afford to rest on its laurels, and stressed the need to continue its hard work, in order to maintain the good form which has seen it claim nine out of nine points since the start of the new campaign.
"For us, it's a work in progress and we have to go back to the drawing board," he said.
"Even though we won 3-1 tonight, I feel there's a lot that we can fix in the team going forward."
"We're trying all of our combinations and the attitudes of the players."
Reflecting on the performance of Chenene, Johnson believed the best was yet to come from the midfield playmaker who joined from Moroka Swallows in June.
Chenene not only scored United's second, but was instrumental in the build-up to the first and third goals, and was brought down in the area by Siboniso Gaxa, handing Grobler the opportunity to send United two goals clear from the penalty spot.
"Everybody says Bennett is the signing of the season for United, but I think he's got more to offer than he's doing currently," Johnson said.
"I think he did a lot better at Swallows and he still has to learn or understand the players that are around him now.
"At SuperSport we ask a little bit more, we ask him to track back (in defence as well). It's the third game, I think he'll get better."
Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter echoed Johnson's sentiments, pointing to a poor second half display from his camp, which allowed the home side to take control and see out the game in emphatic style.
"We said at half-time that it would be very important how the next 10 or 15 minutes went, because in their dressing room, they weren't going to be lying down and sleeping," Baxter said.
"They were going to be whipping up an attitude and they would be making changes.
"We had to go out there and make sure that we solved those problems standing on your feet.
"We didn't. We switched off and we allowed SuperSport to take the game back."
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Baxter admitted that Chiefs would face a massive challenge in defending their league crown, and believed Chiefs would be pushed far more by the rest of the chasing pack as the season progressed.
"I think it's going to be a tighter league this year.
"A lot of the teams that had a disappointing season last year have strengthened.
"People have taken new coaches, people have invested money in their squads, people have new ambitions and we all start with a clean slate.