Kaizer Chiefs coach defends decision not to sign new players

The coach of the Kaizer Chiefs, Calvin Johnson, has defended the team’s difficult decision to hold off on signing players during the January transfer window.

Johnson was speaking at a post-match media briefing after the Glamour Boys were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup’s first round by 10-man Milford FC of the lower-tier Motsepe Foundation Championship, also known as the National First Division.

The defeat on Sunday means that Amakhosi’s nine-year trophy drought continues. They last won a trophy in 2015.

Johnson, who was appointed in September 2023, said: “When we took over … I think I was there for 48 hours in the transfer window opening and closing, and I thought if I were a coach that came into a group of people of 30 or more and said, ‘not good enough, we need to strengthen’, that means I have not taken my work I can do with a group of players and make them better.

“That is the reason we did not sign anybody in the transfer window.

“I think what we have at the club is good enough to take them to the end of the season and get them many points, and like I have said before, pray to God and get them one trophy.”

Giving back to devoted fans

He said that the team’s only option was to give back to its devoted fans, who have stuck by them even after the team’s last trophy win was nine years ago.

The head coach of Milford FC expressed his pride in both the team’s performance against the Chiefs and the path they were going down.

“Hopefully we can continue growing as a team and as a club and survive in the Motsepe League so that we can have new dreams and aspirations next season,” he said.

Even the extra-time penalty the Kaizer Chiefs received could not have spared them from humiliation.

Ranga Chivaviro, a Zimbabwean export for the Chiefs, struck the penalty into the hands of Milford’s shot stopper, Siphamandla Hleza, leaving the score at 0-0.

The game was decided on penalties because it could not be settled in normal or extra-time. Edson Castillo was the only player to miss the spot kick, which meant that his team lost badly.

The Nedbank Cup draw for the last 16 is scheduled to take place on Monday at 6pm.

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