Ernst Middendorp: 'I have nothing to prove'

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

Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp says he has nothing to prove when it comes to his credentials ahead of his side's Nedbank Cup clash against Orlando Pirates.

The German tactician comes up against his compatriot Josef Zinnbauer in the Round of 16 at Harry Gwala stadium, with Maritzburg rock-bottom of the DStv Premiership, leading to criticism of the German mentor.

But the knives have been out for Middendorp ever since his Kaizer Chiefs days where the Amakhosi suffered that humiliating Nedbank Cup final defeat to TS Galaxy as well as letting the league trophy slip out of their hands on the final day of the season.

However, the 62-year-old believes he has all the pedigree and experience to continue managing at the top level, citing that he has been in the dugout for 27 years.

"Are you really thinking I'm going to answer such approach? Are you really thinking with the 27 years' experience of coaching, coaching in the Bundesliga, coaching in the [Chinese] super league, coaching premier league and other countries to still prove myself?" Middendorp asked the media.

"Sorry, I won't discuss that at this moment, I won't even go further. We have so many coaches talking about something we can't even identify, not even being outside, not knowing what is going on in the outside world.

"Now you think I should discuss my profile, whether I'm a better coach who is experienced? Sorry, I'm really learning every day. I'm producing the knowledge, whatever it is, introduction of GPS, introduction of performance analysis...

"We can talk about tactical work of the highest level; we can talk about prioritisation. If you want individually or if you want as a group or block prioritisation, whatever, we can talk different models.

"We can go the entire 24/7 having an open discussion and ask me questions then tell me whether I'm talking about something I know or not, so sorry.

"If you have 27 years' experience and now you want to talk about whether I'm a good coach or not, then you make your judgment. At this moment there's a team that was coached reasonably and there's a team that is coached reasonably.

"Facts don't matter, and you ask me to go and judge myself? Really? Holy ghost let's leave it. You make your own judgment and write it down."

Kick-off is at 18:00 on Saturday.

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