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Johnson slams ‘dope’ Kusunga after last-gasp defeat

Date online: 17 February 2014

GENSERIC Kusunga was branded a “dope” by manager Lee Johnson after his red card helped Athletic to an added-time defeat at MK Dons.

Kusunga (25) was dismissed in the 65th minute at Stadium MK after bringing down Stephen Gleeson to pick up a second yellow card of the afternoon.

It was his second red of the campaign and will earn him a two-match ban — covering the home clash with Gillingham on Saturday and the return visit of the Dons to Boundary Park on February 25.

But while unhappy with his player, Johnson also pointed to the haranguing of match officials — including referee Chris Sarginson — by Dons staff, featuring Dons manager Karl Robinson.

“These people are professionals and he has let the team down,” said Johnson, who accepted he could have hauled-off Kusunga earlier to remove the danger of going down to 10 men.

“To be fair, he has stood up and apologised to the lads. It was through some real dopiness that he has allowed himself to get sent off. You expect someone who has played in the Champions League to be sensible enough not to make a rash challenge like he did.

“You could say MK Dons earned it by getting on to the referee and fourth official about Kusunga. Certainly, two or three of them in the first half weren’t fouls. But with the verbal presence down by the technical area, Robinson has managed to put the seed in their mind and Gensy played to that.”

Ben Reeves’ winning goal turned around a game the Dons were trailing at half-time thanks to Adam Lockwood’s header. Samir Carruthers’ solo goal had levelled shortly after half-time.

Athletic remain in 15th in Sky Bet League One, four points clear of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Athletic captain Korey Smith is “touch and go” to be back in contention for the visit of Gillingham. Smith took a knock to a knee in the Bristol City game. The worst-case is a three-month lay-off, but the swelling has gone down quickly enough to indicate he may be in with a chance for Saturday.

SIDNEY Schmeltz has had his contract with Athletic cut short. The summer signing is heading back to his Dutch homeland after an unsuccessful stint at Boundary Park. And Kirk Millar’s impending loan move to Stockport County has been delayed due to the forward picking up a knock in training.


Kusunga struggled and was well beaten all afternoon and it was always likely to be sent off . LJ should have replaced him at half time

his sending off was the turning point for mk dons.He was silly to get send off.

I was at MK Sat, you could see the red card coming. LJ should have subbed him.
Why he started Kusunga confuses me, Brown was obviously fit, on the bench?
Why not start Kissock he's a centre mid, what's he doing here otherwise?
Why take off Harkins, our best & most creative player? JCH did nothing (again) when he came on.
We needed pace to push their defence back, that's what Turner has but did we see him? Macdonald came on did nothing & we invited pressure.
Ox at fault for the winner?


Tusunga should have been replaced on his yellow whilst the defending for MK Dons first goal was an absolute disgrace. The winner, totally preventable, came thanks to another Oxley 'non-save', the ball was actually drifting wide of the far post. From yet another position of dominance the team again shoot themselves in the foot at the last minute. Players and staff are departing the club rapidly whilst our shot shy strikers have only mustered ONE goal since the 29th December! EMBARRASSING.....!!

LJ has to take the blame for kusunga getting sent off. he was playing RB and is no good there but tried his best. LJ should have subbed him at half time.
Now can we give brown a proper run out at RB.

Don't forget Oxley, dope doesn't cover what he did either.

The biggest dope was Johnson who should have taken him off beforehand when everyone else but him could see that Kusunga was heading for the exit!.....proper rookie Manager

err .. mikejh45 ... What were you saying last week about Johnson not berating his players in public ? Isn't calling one of his players a dope exactly that?

Yet Johnson still tries to give some excuse by saying the MK manager had "put seeds" in the minds of the officials and which helped towards his sending off.

Total rubbish - Johnson is just trying to look for any excuse to justify himself staying as manager.

having supported the latics since the early 70's ,now my daughter and I have too make a 70 mile round trip too see the mighty Latics at home we both feel Mr Johnson is the right man for the job, come on guys would you rather watch teams like shrewsbury , colchester et al every week???? or go back too the bad old days of moore and the likes ??? come on lets keep the faith yes its frustrating watching latics at times but I for one are 100% behind the club. COME ON OLDHAM

Thou Dumber.Yes, he did berate one of his players and I still feel he is wrong to do so.
Robinson was in the referee's ear with every decision going MK's way applauded and those going against challenge either to the 4th official or the linesman.
Something in the way you write tells me you don't like Johnson (sarcasm). I think you would prefer the likes of Talbot or Penney back or maybe some other lower division journeyman manager like Brown.
You can sit on the miserable bench with Skay!!!

mikejh45.....the Majority of posts are negative for a reason...because latics are the same old team every season,struggling against relegation,same mistakes week after week and that is despite Johnson having almost a new team. I am a realist like most on here, not blind to reality like you are. Having a pop at me all the time should instead be directed at the team and Manager otherwise you will get the same each year.But maybe you'd be happy supporting them in the Conference!!!

To those who keep having a go at Johnson who is a rookie at his job,you have got to give him time just like any other new man in a job.Look at Royal look at Ferguson .You have to give him 2 years.Joe was nearly shown the door after 2 years!But of course if you know of a Manager who is fit for purpose you only have to say who it is....... Ronnie Moore perhaps!!!!!!!

Johnson didn't call Kusunga a dope, read it again!

Skay, why are you always absent when we win.
We are were we are because of the finances that are available. Yes, LJ is making mistakes but he needs support from the fans as he has only been a manager for LESS than one year, I bet you would have sacked Fergie or Joe after less than a year. As for realism, I have said elsewhere I think LJ made mistakes on Saturday so that makes me more of a realist than you.
By the way, are you upset because you bet £10 on Dowie to become manager last season.

@ Bob!.....are you having trouble reading...best go to specsavers!

Mikejh45...I'm always absent when we win because we don't win a lot and have lost 15 times already. Also after a win invariably the team will let the fans down in the very next match,usually from lower opposition. This happens year on year no matter what Manager they have.
Because this is almost a brand new team you would expect this losing attitude to end but the same failings are evident so there must be deeper problems in training/Management etc.
I never bet on Dowie to become manager

Skay....In the quotes above, LJ accuses Kusunga of "Dopiness". Nowhere does he actually call him a "dope". The "dope" comment is Matt Chambers's spin on the story.

My point exactly Mike, cheers!


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