Surprise AmaZulu win gives Chippa boss hope for turnaround

Ernst Middendorp
Ernst Middendorp

AMAZULU’S surprise victory over SuperSport United at the weekend has given Chippa United head coach Ernst Middendorp some hope that his team will bank their first win of the year when they take on Polokwane City at Nelson Mandela Bay (7.30pm).

The German coach believes the team have been unlucky in his three PSL games in charge so far, saying they deserved far more than the one point they had managed.

“At the moment I am not on the luckiest side in terms of getting results and, on the other hand, the team by far have not reached their potential,” Middendorp said yesterday.

“In the training sessions we can do better, we can do better


tonight in the remaining games, home and away because the pressure is there.”

Middendorp acknowledges his team’s biggest problem has been finding the net.

“We need to finish the activity in the box and transfer it into goals,” he said.

“As you can see, it’s not only Chippa United who are experiencing problems with scoring, other teams are struggling as well.

“We have seen a team [AmaZulu] that didn’t score in 15 or 16 games, then all of a sudden they hammer SuperSport United 5-2.

“Soccer is definitely something that is played in the brain. You have to put your mind into the right direction and never get frustrated.

“Keep positive and that is what we are doing in training and in our preparations.”

The Chilli Boys will be looking for revenge after losing 3-1 away to Polokwane last year.

Since former coach Roger Sikhakhane was axed towards the end of the first half of the season, the club have dropped two places on the log. Chippa have 23 points from 20 games.

For Middendorp to achieve his mandate of getting 32 points by the end of the season, he needs to win at least three games.

A win against Kosta Papic’s side would boost confidence in the Chilli Boys’ camp.

On the another hand, Papic will also be gunning for a win against his former team, whom he left earlier in the season.

Going into tonight’s game, Middendorp is expecting an attacking Polokwane side.

Rise and Shine will also want to get back on the winning trail after they were beaten 3-1 by Orlando Pirates at the weekend. They are sixth on the log with 28 points from 20 games.

Meanwhile, Chippa’s chief executive Peter Koutrolis expressed the club’s support for Middendorp, saying: “These are the kind of results that bring people together.

“Management and the chairman are behind our coach and the players. We support Ernst Middendorp with all our hearts and nobody can judge a coach in three games.

“We understand all the complaints from fans about Chippa United’s results, [but] the bottom line is we know Ernst is a good coach, a high quality coach and people must be patient; good results will come.”

Koutrolis said the club were confident they would renew Middendorp’s contract for next season.

-Vuyokazi Nkanjeni




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