Absa Premiership

Middendorp admits Chiefs weren't at their best

Ernst Middendorp (Gallo Image)
Ernst Middendorp (Gallo Image)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is happy to have made it through a tough Nedbank Cup encounter against Royal Eagles on Saturday.

Chiefs claimed a 1-0 win thanks to a 70th minute Lebogang Manyama strike at the FNB Stadium to secure their place in the next round of the competition.

Many expected it to be a far easier match for Amakhosi considering the apparent gulf in talent between the two squads. While Chiefs sit comfortably atop the Premiership standings, Royal Eagles are rooted to the bottom of the National First Division.

However, the visitors deployed an effective defensive strategy and managed to keep their more illustrious opposition at bay for most of the game.

"Yeah, we're through to the next round. I was aware of it [being a tricky encounter], there's nothing new if you're playing against a team with a 100 percent tactical strategy to defend," Middendorp told SuperSport after the game.

He did admit, though, that his side was not operating at full capacity in the first half due to a bit of complacency.

"In the first half we had three very good possibilities but we took it too casually. With every minute we encouraged the opponents to get stronger and stronger. In the end, one goal was enough, it's okay," he said.

"You have to do the running patterns right, make use of the chances, produce the chances with unlocking. That is the difficult stuff. It is a difficult matter and a challenge in a Cup competition.

"If you play a PSL team, it goes up and down, that's a different story but good, we handled it well. So far, we're qualified for the next round and now we're looking forward to the next match," concluded Middendorp.

- TEAMTalk

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