Coaching a big club and brand like Kaizer Chiefs is not for the faint hearted, head coach Ernst Middendorp and his troops have had a great start into the new Absa Premiership season.
The club registered its sixth win in eight matches in the league last night beating Golden Arrows 2-0 at FNB stadium but Middendorp is still concerned about his future.
Such are the challenges of coaching big clubs that the German born coach, after finishing outside the top eight last season and losing the Nedbank Cup final to second tier side TS Galaxy, says eight out of 10 people still want him out at Chiefs.
Chiefs are currently four points clear at the top with 19 points from eight games and they are favourites to clinch Q1 this season and can only be dislodged by Bidvest Wits or Mamelodi Sundowns.
It’s understandable why the management or the fans are eager to see the club at least winning Q1 since they are going through a trophy drought of more than four years now but Middendorp is not obsessed with this.
The Chiefs camp has been ravaged by some serious injuries in the past two weeks and this happened to some key players like Samir Nurkovic, Itumeleng Khune, Reeve Frosler, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, George Maluleka and last night Kearyn Baccus.
What’s concerning is that most of these injuries appeared to be muscle related, leading some to question the periodization programme at Chiefs but Middendorp has a different take.
Baccus who recently joined Chiefs from Australian club Melbourne City FC has made a huge impression since his first game in the PSL but he was forced out of the game by an injury last night. Middendorp provides an update.
Middendorp also handed a debut to South African U20 junior international Njabulo Blom who had a great showing playing at right-back last night.
He couldn’t finish the game due to an injury and was replaced by Lorenzo Gordinho but the coach was impressed with the performance of the development academy graduate. – Report by Velile Mnyandu
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