Middendorp refuses to dwell on 'if' Galaxy shock Chiefs
NFD side take on Amakhosi in Nedbank final on Saturday with the Naturena side still reeling from not making the league's top 8
Ernst Middendorp does not want to dwell too much on the setback it might represent for his second tenure at Kaizer Chiefs if the Soweto club were to follow up ninth place in the league with losing against a National First Division (NFD) team in the Nedbank Cup final.
Middendorp had even less time to entertain any questions over whether he would resign if Chiefs were to suffer an immense‚ but by no means inconceivable‚ shock defeat at the hands of 10-month-old NFD club TS Galaxy in Saturday’s final.
Chiefs lost their final Premiership match of the season 1-0 to Chippa United in Port Elizabeth last Saturday to slip out of the top eight‚ which Middendorp admitted was a “disaster” for Amakhosi. .
Chiefs have a chance to redeem themselves and prevent an unprecedented fourth season without a trophy in Saturday’s final.
On the flip side‚ should Galaxy pull a famous upset‚ Middendorp would go from the relief of becoming a coach to end Chiefs’ trophy drought‚ to under pressure going into his first full season in his second stint at Amakhosi.
The coach said that any loss is difficult to contend with‚ especially at Chiefs.
“Life is always difficult in soccer if you lose a game. It’s not about finishing in a position that you weren’t really targeting‚” Middendorp said on Wednesday.
“But it’s always a difficult situation during the run of the league‚ and with a brand like Kaizer Chiefs‚ for sure.
“But‚ it’s not really something at the moment [to think about]. Let’s respect our own preparation‚ do the best we can‚ hopefully to make the right decision to get highly committed players onto the field on Saturday to be able to handle the pressure. And then we will see.
“I’m not thinking about ‘in case’ and ‘what’ and ‘when’‚ when we have a very clear target to win this cup.”
A question came‚ which Middendorp did not allow to be finished‚ concerning if things do not go Chiefs’ way on Saturday.
The coach interrupted: “Don’t approach me with if‚ if‚ if‚ if‚ and again if.”
The questioner completed his query‚ which was the inevitable‚ will Middendorp resign if things Chiefs lose on Saturday.
“I told you‚ whatever you are asking in terms of ‘if’‚ whatever you are saying at this moment‚ I have a contract over years‚ and I will win this cup. That’s our target‚” the coach replied.