Stars rising

2015-09-16 06:00
ERNST MIDDENDORP

ERNST MIDDENDORP

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ERNST MIDDENDORP, the new Free State Stars head coach, has guided his troops to their first win of the 2015-’16 Absa Premier League season with a 3-0 victory over Chippa United at the Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem on Saturday (12/09).

This was Middendorp’s first test since arriving at Ea Lla Koto a fortnight ago, following the sacking of Kinnah Phiri and his assistants, Themba Sithole and Floyd Mogale.

Before this victory Stars had played three league games without a win or a draw.

When asked what luck he had brought into the team, the former Bloemfontein Celtic mentor said: “Don’t ask me this question. It is not about luck or whatever. I hate the word luck and I won’t even answer that question.”

However, he revealed that it had taken his arrogance, as well as confidence, to change things in the team.

“That is sometimes what works for a coach. If you want to be successful you need to be arrogant and confident.”

He said the selection of the team was good for the United game and that was why they had achieved the results.

“The players needed a different approach and they showed that by scoring goals.”

Middendorp said he had made use of the chance to watch the team’s games before and they were still playing well. He just needed to change something in the players’ minds and he did.

“They fought hard in all the games. The fighting spirit was there and the morale was also high.”

Stars’ next fixture is on Tuesday (22/09) against the wounded Maritzburg United, who lost 2-0 to Celtic on their home turf on Saturday.

The game will be played at the Harry Gwala Stadium and kick-off is at 19:30.

“Some of the players were not featured in this game and I am sure they will be available for the next games.

“We have the likes of Moeketsi Sekola and Sthembiso Ngcobo, who everyone knows. So we will work hard and see who is available for the next game.”

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