In this week's DoRego's blog, we feature Platinum Stars head coach, Cavin Johnson.
Like I’ve been saying, the 3-1 loss to Golden Arrows, it’s not a disappointing result. We played football. We went there to play football and we achieved that. For me that’s always a plus because winning and losing is part of football. If we don’t go out there and try to play beautiful football, we’re not testing the ability of our players, we’re not testing the tactical awareness and the mentality of our players. So, ja, in a way we can be disappointed because we weren’t able to put the pressure on Kaizer Chiefs.
We have to look forward to our next game against SuperSport United and we have to play really well against them to contend for the second spot. The guys felt bad after the game. We pushed as hard as we could. I think we missed a couple of good, good chances that we normally put away. But that’s football, hey. At this time of the season we don’t have the quality of Chiefs or Orlando Pirates and we also don’t have the support they have. Those are all factors outside of football that come to the fore when you are at this stage of the season. When you are on top of the league, you need to have all those people pushing, pushing, pushing. That makes your team just play better. The quality of the brand in itself is a plus in football. In saying that, I’m very proud of the boys and what they’ve done this whole season. Pound for pound we’ve competed. We took players that haven’t really played in the PSL and we told them, ‘Guys, this is the opportunity to come to the party and play in the PSL.’ They haven’t disappointed.
I never play mind games. Never play mind games in football! Never count your chickens before they hatch, and I’ve always maintained that. They (Chiefs) started off well, they maintained their lead at the top, they were able to play consistent football and get consistent results. That’s why I always said they will win the league and I’m sure when they win the league, Stuart Baxter will phone me and say, “You did say it. Thank you very much.” I think he’s brought a lot of stability to the team. I look at the size of the team, I look at Jessica Motaung, I look at Bobby (Motaung), I look at all of them – there’s not much that they were involved in at the team. He got help from Doctor Khumalo the whole season and the other people pushed the other parts of the game, which is support, the merchandise and all those things. With all due respect to his predecessors, they didn’t worry about that. They worried about results, whereas Stuart came in as a clever person and brought structure to the team. He helped some of the players to believe in themselves again and not have airs about themselves on the pitch. They had to do the business before they became superstars.
We gave the people a great semifinal in the Nedbank Cup, I think. I think it was a semifinal of missed chances, as I believe we should have scored many goals. In saying that, we exceeded our expectations as a club this season because I said at the beginning of the season that we’re building. We’re building a team with a particular ethos and if I’m still at the club in five years’ time, maybe I can put up my hand and say, ‘I’m telling you, this season I’m going to win the league.’ I always maintain that every team or player in the PSL must have something. They all must have some quality, and for us it was about putting that quality together as a group, to make it look better as a team and I think we have achieved that in a lot of ways. So, for me, we’re just happy that things have gone our way this season. Next season is a different ball game – we have to think differently, we have to up our game, we have to bring in a few other players that are able to read the game in a certain way. But the bottom line, we still maintain, is to play football.
Sure, it’s going to be a helluva next season! We’re going to have to come out of the blocks and really, really play beautiful football. We’ll lose some key players, but we’re building. We aren’t looking to put superstars into the team. We’re looking to put in players that can bring another dimension to the club, and that’s why some of our key players go. They need to go to bigger clubs, earn a good salary and get the accolades. We will bring in a couple of no-name players that are capable of staging a fight in the PSL. Life goes on. We have more than capable players that can fill their shoes.
This is going to be a tough game (against SuperSport United). It’s for us to maintain our position on the log. To be able to do that, I hope we will be able to score seven goals at the end of the season. Seven will belong to us and the rest will belong to them. If it’s 7-7, then all the best! That would give the football world 14 goals, everybody would go home smiling. We would be happy, they would be happy and football would be the winner.
A message to the supporters, we’ve tried to display the best football we can this season as a young team. We are building for the future and we’d like to appeal to the people of Phokeng and the surrounding areas to come out and support us. We are the only PSL team in the North West. Come out and show your true colours! I mean, the other day we brought some supporters to come and watch our game against SuperSport and they ended up supporting SuperSport. That’s really ridiculous! The club went out and said, “Okay, guys, we’ll give you free transport to come to the stadium and watch a game of football.” We paid for that ourselves. The people get in your bus and they support your opposition. Ha! Doesn’t go down well, hey. I cannot make sense of why people aren’t coming to the stadium. For the life of me, I really, really cannot make sense of it. For any amount of money, I cannot give you a reason why that happens.
Platinum Stars head coach