Absa Premiership

SuperSport rusty: Johnson

2013-07-15 12:44
Cavin Johnson (Gallo)

Pretoria - SuperSport United played with uncharacteristic flair as they stunned Manchester City at the weekend, but their performance did not entirely satisfy new coach Cavin Johnson.

United beat the English giants 2-0 in their pre-season Nelson Mandela Football Invitational match at Loftus on Sunday, with Johnson, in his first match in charge, signalling an enterprising new era for the Tshwane club.

They netted twice through Mame Niang and Kermit Erasmus in the second half, as Matsatsantsa overpowered the lethargic visitors in the first of two encounters honouring South Africa's iconic former president.\

GALLERY: SuperSport Utd vs Man City

VIDEO: Man City tour diary in SA

"The biggest thing was coming out and playing for Madiba," Johnson said.

"Winning against a team like City is always a plus, but I've seen more mistakes than what the score will tell.

"We have a lot of problems to fix before the season starts."

Johnson also announced a change of leadership on the field, confirming that the former three-time domestic league champions would have a new captain in the coming season.

Bafana Bafana utility player Bevan Fransman would take over the armband from central defender Thabo September, who led the side for the past two years.

"Bevan Fransman is the captain, but I've got about six other captains and senior players like Thabo, Rowen Fernandez and Jabu Maluleke, so those things are handled in camp," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, regular vice-captain Erasmus remained unsettled at the club, having requested a transfer at the conclusion of last season when former coach Gavin Hunt departed.

The former SA Under-20 star, who had a stint playing for Feyenoord in Holland, was asked by the club to commit or face being sold this week, should he not want to honour the remaining year on his contract.

United also offered Erasmus a contract extension to remain with the ambitious Tshwane outfit.

"There has always been talk of Kermit and whether he's staying or going," Johnson said.

"I don't have those problems in my pocket, the problems are in his pocket. Me? I want all my players to stay."

Meanwhile, new manager Manuel Pellegrini started his stint at City on a dour note as his charges failed to produce any spark in the defeat.

They now have to raise their game for the final encounter of their South African tour against AmaZulu in Durban on Thursday.

"'We are just starting the season so it's not always important to win but for us it's important to give minutes to the whole squad," Pellegrini said.

"The first match is important but not to change all our preparations for the season."

Read more on:    supersport united  |  cavin johnson  |  soccer

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