Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp is convinced that his predecessor Eric Tinkler would have turned things around for the “Team of Choice” had he been given more time.
Tinkler was sacked by Maritzburg management in November following a dismal start to the DStv Premiership of four defeats in a row.
The appointment of Middendorp has proven to be the right decision so far as the club has registered back to back victories.
The Team of Choice defeated Amakhosi 2-0 in Johannesburg on Saturday with Judas Moseamedi scoring a brace while Middendorp’s charges downed Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 a week ago.
After 10 matches, United are now sitting on position 12 on the Premiership log table with eight points.
Celtic 1-1 AmaZulu
Pirates 1-1 Swallows
Tshakhuma 2-2 CT City
Chiefs 0-2 Maritzburg
Galaxy 0-3 SuperSport
Baroka 0-2 Sundowns
Arrows 1-0 Chippa
Stellenbosch 1-1 Leopards
In spite of all that, the German-born coach believes he has not changed a lot of things to help the team out of the danger zone and said though he had nothing to do with the decision to let Tinkler go, he believed the latter would have guided United to a better position at the end.
“I believe and I’m hundred percent convinced that Eric Tinkler would have been able to turn things to this direction in the same way,” said Middendorp after he had just toppled Amakhosi.
“He knows the players, there’s no doubt about it. Sometimes it is like this, it doesn’t go or run smoothly as it should be. I don’t have the right to talk about the decision [to sack Tinkler], but I believe the team reacted very well from the beginning … I’m not going to sit here and disqualify anybody who has been here before.
“We continued with a lot of stuff because the technical team which worked with the coach [Tinkler] is still here. Probably here and there you give a different input in a certain direction.
“Of course, I have a very clear idea to address issues, challenges in a very clear direct way. Probably other coaches have a different way.”
The coach also revealed how he got striker Moseamedi, who has scored four league goals this season, to fire on all cylinders. “I can confirm that he likes to score against Chiefs. When I came in on the 26th of November, we had a very clear short conversation about it, a player of his quality must be a starter, he must be a first eleven player,” said Middendorp.
“I told him that you are a core player [of the team] and you are one of the first eleven players and that I was not happy for him to come in as a joker or for him to play every four games.
“And he started each and every game in my time and he gets better and better. He is one of my crucial players, not only today. He was crucial in the past matches and I hope he can continue focusing.”
The coach also said it was quite easy to plot Chiefs’ downfall as he was at the helm of the club last season.
“Of course, I have certain knowledge about each and every player on the side. I worked with them for more than two years.”