Chippa’s coach urges teamwork

ON THE BALL: Chippa United's Andile Mbenyane during the Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at  Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - Picture: GALLO IMAGES
ON THE BALL: Chippa United’s Andile Mbenyane during the Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Middendorp disappointed as side still in search of win

CHIPPA United head coach Ernst Middendorp believes his players need to unify and support each other in attack and defence during the full 90 minutes of game time in their next Premier Soccer League fixture.

Speaking to the media after their 1-1 draw against Polokwane City on Wednesday night at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, the German coach labelled the result as disappointing.

“I think . . . we were lucky that the first half ended 0-0. There were several dangerous moments when the opponent could have taken the lead.

“In the second half we were fighting, it was a different approach in terms of the spirit and working together as a team, it was a huge difference.

“We messed it up in moments where we were the ones leading and we had four very good opportunities to make the second goal . . . you need the second goal in such a game. We didn’t pick the chances, we didn’t take the opportunities.

“Then we conceded a goal from a set piece in the final minutes – this is disappointing.”

The Chilli Boys have not recorded a win in their last nine games. They are 11th on the log, with 24 points.

Middendorp’s next PSL fixture is an away game against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Meanwhile, former Chippa United coach Kosta Papic, who left the team earlier in the season, said he was happy with the point. “We came here for a win but a point away is better than nothing,” he said.

Polokwane City have also not won a game this year. They are sixth on the log and Papic believes a win could help them survive relegation.

“We are starting to feel the pressure because the remaining games won’t be easy. Our next league fixture is away against defending champions Sundowns. They are in form at the moment and contesting for the league.”

Meanwhile, Ajax Cape Town will settle for a top-eight finish at the end of the season even though they started the campaign like a house on fire.

“We’ve got to be realistic,” coach Roger de Sa said after the midweek loss to Kaizer Chiefs and looking ahead to tomorrow’s clash in Polokwane against SuperSport United.

“Forty points is what we are aiming for. Anything above that is a bonus.

“It sounds like a bit of a cliché but obviously we want to win every game left this season. We have nine games to go and nine wins would be the optimum.

“But if you sit back and analyse the situation properly, if we make the top eight it will be fine. If we can stay in fifth place that will be fantastic.”

Ajax dropped to sixth place on 28 points after their 1-0 loss at Soccer City on Wednesday.

They had been among the early season leaders after last season narrowly avoiding relegation.

The club also has a tilt at the Nedbank Cup where they have drawn SuperSport United at home. The two play a dress rehearsal in the league at the Peter Mokaba Stadium tomorrow.

-Vuyokazi Nkanjeni

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