Maritzburg United’s management believe that their decision to replace former Bafana Bafana star Eric Tinkler with more experienced foreigner Ernst Middendorp as head coach has been vindicated by the team’s improved results in the DStv Premiership of late.
They feel that Middendorp has brought the right mixture of motivation and tactical discipline to their previously unsettled squad, according to club boss Farook Kadodia.
Since Middendorp took charge of United for the fourth time in his long career in late November 2020, the 62-year-old German has picked up a stabilising eight points from five assignments.
His tenure has featured a 1-1 draw with Sundowns at home, 2-0 loss to Swallows away, 2-2 draw with Stellenbosch at home, 2-1 win over Celtic at home and 2-0 win over Chiefs away, in that order.
Middendorp’s team next face AmaZulu at Kings Park in Durban on Sunday, with Usuthu’s clash against Chiefs on Wednesday giving him a chance to take some notes to bolster his tactical preparations for the provincial derby.
Said Kadodia: “The cancer in our team started in the bio-bubble in Gauteng at the end of last season and continued into the new season.
He said Middendorp provided the building blocks towards stability in the league. “He has motivated the players and worked on correcting them.”
After visiting AmaZulu at the weekend, Middendorp’s men will face TS Galaxy, Orlando Pirates, Golden Arrows and Tshakhuma to complete the first half of the 2020/21 league programme. Three of those games will be held at Harry Gwala Stadium and the other in Durban.
Kadodia said Middendorp’s tactical knowledge is very important to the club. “After every week, every game, we reassess the situation and see what further is needed to make progress.
“Ernst has his own methods, but importantly, he quickly identified and starting correcting our mistakes on both sides of the pitch. That’s why our results have improved.”