Absa Premiership

Middendorp slams Chiefs' casual approach

Ernst Middendorp (Gallo Images)
Ernst Middendorp (Gallo Images)

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp cut a frustrated figure after his charges slumped to a 1-0 defeat to AmaZulu on Saturday afternoon.

Amakhosi were flying high after the Soweto derby victory over Orlando Pirates last weekend and had an opportunity to increase their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership standings to 10 points.

However, a goal from Bonginkosi Ntuli in first-half stoppage-time was enough to secure all three points for Usuthu, who were bottom of the standings ahead of the clash with Chiefs.

Middendorp believes the Soweto derby win may have had a negative effect on his team as he witnessed an all too casual approach from the Glamour Boys.

"From the beginning, was just too casual. We spoke about it during the week. I was hoping everybody understood the message," Middendorp told SuperSport TV.

"Winning the derby, it is always something after this, you get relaxed, too relaxed, you putting yourself into it and you have a fantastic chance to make it 1-0.

"Too casual again, it just gets kicked in I'm talking about this excitement to make hundred percent sure.

"Ok, in the critical phase you get the 0-1 and now get to play against the wall and block of defensive, quite deep, you don't get quite an open door and then you lose again."

He added: "This is all what I'm talking about. It's definitely when you find the right identity with the game, when you in and really in.

"I'm not taking it casual then something like this happens and then all of a suddenly getting yourself into a shocking situation, 0-1 three–four minutes before halftime so then all of a sudden you have to correct yourself as an individual.

"As a collective and then it's difficult you play then into the cards-defensive work from the opponent side and then it's a war as we have seen.

"We had enough strikers on the field to make it happen (equalise), but good it didn't work. We have to ask ourselves what we have done today."

Chiefs still enjoy a seven-point lead at the top of the table despite the defeat, but second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns have two games in hand, which means that lead could shrink to a single point.

"I said it after or before the derby or even at this stage, of course we could've taken a huge step forward. But good it doesn't really bring a decision in which direction (the league will go)," said Middendorp when asked about the title race.

"These type of games or opponents these teams are fighting for staying in the league will come into our direction and good you can only master it if you have the right mindset from each and every collective and finally as a team.

"And good we have to sit down, looking into it and try to find the solution for the next game against Wits."

- TEAMtalk media

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