Johnson and Manyama worked together during their time at SuperSport United during the 2013/14 season, before a poor start to the 2014/15 campaign lead to the coach’s sacking.
Currently with Usuthu, the 56-year-old tactician managed to steer the club to a strong finish in their first season back in the Absa Premiership, while they have also proven to be no pushovers this season in their 3-3 draw with reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.
Ahead of the Durban-based outfit’s visit to FNB Stadium to face Amakhosi on Saturday, Manyama is wary of coming up against his former mentor and his hard-working troops.
“AmaZulu have got one of the best coaches, I think, in South Africa. I think Cavin Johnson is very underrated, a very nice guy and a very nice coach,” said Manyama.
“I think he’s worked them very well, and they are very good. They are a running team, we saw how they played against Sundowns, they never give up and play for 90 minutes.
“And I think we are starting to build that also – to try and work as hard as possible.”
Chiefs have managed to find some rhythm in their recent fixtures – winning back-to-back league games for the first time under new coach Giovanni Solinas.
Manyama, who made his debut in their 4-1 drubbing of his former employers Cape Town City over the weekend, believes they have one of the best attacks in the PSL, but admits their defensive organisation needs some improvement.
“When we have the ball we’re probably one of the best teams in the country, but what’s important is what happens when we lose it,” he added.
“So, we’re trying to rectify that to try and also help the defence to make sure that we don’t concede. It’s a process and we just have to take it one game at a time.”