Cavin: Usuthu ‘too good’ for relegation


Having bought their way back into the Absa Premiership after finishing fifth in the National First Division last season, Usuthu have given a fair account of themselves over the first half of the season, recording impressive victories over Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns as they earned 15 points so far this campaign.

Yet four draws and two losses in their last six games have left the KwaZulu-Natal club 13th on the log, just four points above bottom-placed Wits. However their head coach insists his side won’t be sucked into the relegation battle in the second half of the season.

“I think the team is too good for that,” he said. “But in saying that, the league is so tight this year, and you can be anywhere on the log after one or two games, and that is always the worry, considering where we are at the moment.

“So yes, we have to come out and fix ourselves, but it’s only because of the situation in the league. But for sure, we will get ourselves up there, and I don’t think the team is of the quality to get stuck down there in that position.”

Looking back at the first half of the campaign, Johnson believes the six draws from their 13 league games so far has cost them dearly, and feels his players need to up their game next year, both on and off the pitch.

“I think there were too many games that we drew that we should have won, and we wouldn’t have been in the situation where we are now,” he said. “In many of those draws, besides showing dominance towards the opposition, we were building and learning and were able to get something out of the game.

“When you play a team like Wits or Sundowns, and you win the game, you set the standard. And sometimes, when you have a team like AmaZulu that’s growing, the players have to know that they set the standard. The standard is not set by Cavin Johnson. If it was set by myself, we’d be top of the table. But they set the standard, and have to maintain that standard. How they do that is based on what they do inside and outside of football.”

Usuthu kick-start their 2018 with a home fixture against Chippa United on January 7.