Middendorp clears the air with club after offering to quit

2011-03-07 00:00

ERNST Middendorp’s issues he has with his players were resolved in a three-hour meeting held yesterday, the Maritzburg United coach said.

This came after the coach made an offer to the club to fire him after Saturday night’s 2-2 Premier Soccer League draw against Vasco Da Gama.

Middendorp made the offer to relegation-threatened United to fire him in a live interview on SuperSport 4 after the match.

The coach was incensed that his players had been in the game for the first 70 minutes and were 2-0 down by half time before managing to stage a late comeback with two goals in the 85th and 91st minutes.

Whether Middendorp’s offer was made in complete seriousness or as an expression of frustration in the heat of the moment, the coach said that he, management and the players thrashed out a number of issues in a three-hour meeting yesterday.

“Of course it [the statement I made] was from frustration and today we had a long, long chat together with the team, coaching staff and management,” the United coach said yesterday.

“I am not a coach who believes a team can play only for 45 minutes. And it has happened many times this season – against Pirates, AmaZulu, Chiefs, SuperSport.

“I understand if it happens once or twice, but not all the time.

“We have prepared for this match against Vasco and the way the players came out in the first half was completely different.

“And I refuse to be happy that we came back in the last 10 minutes and managed a draw. It’s like I said [on TV], I saw this match as a defeat.”

It was not the first time this season Middendorp has taken SuperSport’s post-match TV interviewers by surprise.

In November the German coach threatened to resign over the manner in which United had been treated when their home Telkom Knockout semi-final against Orlando Pirates was controversially moved from Pietermaritzburg to Chatsworth.

In that semi-final against ­Pirates the coach was sent off for losing his cool at referee Daniel Bennett.

Recently Middendorp has drawn attention on television to perceived refereeing decisions consistently going against his team.


Match report: page 20


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