Middendorp: 'We have a chance' to survive PSL relegation

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

Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp has quickly turned his attention the league after his side's 3-1 Nedbank Cup reverse to Orlando Pirates on Sunday.

Middendorp's primary aim at present is to keep Maritzburg in the top flight, with the Team of Choice languishing at the bottom of the DStv Premiership standings.

And the German tactician wants his side to take the positives from their clash against the Buccanneers when they meet a resurgent Black Leopards outfit at Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday.

After all, his side did dominate the opening half against Pirates and led at the break through Thabiso Kutumela's early strike.

"If we are able to get the commitment, focus and intensity like we did in the first half, we have a chance [to stave off relegation]. We need to build from the performance of the first half. We need to play like that for long in the game,” said Middendorp.

And speaking on the Leopards tie, he said: “It’s a game that is very important to us. Knowing that a team [Leopards] are coming with two wins in a row, qualifying for the Nedbank Cup last eight, we need to work very hard against them."

Middendorp gave starts to youngsters Cameron Carnell, Phiwayinkosi Zuma, Lungelo Bhengu and Keletso Sifama and said that his reasoning is to give them big-match experience as the Team of Choice attempt to engineer a great escape.

Against Pirates, Middendorp threw youngsters Cameron Carnell, Phiwayinkosi Zuma, Lungelo Bhengu and Keletso Sifama in at the deep end. The former Kaizer Chiefs mentor indicated he played the young guns in such a big match to prepare them for the relegation dogfight.

"The competition is stiff with these younger players showing that they are committed. It was important to play them I because you have two, three games in one week ... it will be like that for the remainder of the season. The fight is on,” said Middendorp.

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