Kaizer Chiefs coach focusing on one game at a time
Ernst Middendorp downplays chances of winning the title as Amakhosi head to the Fifa international break on top of the log
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has downplayed his team’s rise to the top of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) table and insists they are taking things one game at a time.
Middendorp said he does not think beyond the challenges of the next game and has not entertained thoughts of hoisting the title in May 2020.
“I don’t know how many games is Q1 [the PSL’s quarterly innovation where a winning team pockets R1.5m] or Q2‚ Q6‚ Q7 or whatever.
“I’m good in mathematics but I’m not good in this counting [to know] in the end what’s necessary or whatever,” said Middendorp.
Amakhosi will head to the Fifa international break with a four-point gap over second-placed Bidvest Wits after their 2-0 win against Golden Arrows gave them a third victory on the trot at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win over Arrows followed victories against AmaZulu (2-0) and Baroka‚ bringing to 19 the number of points Chiefs have bagged in their first eight outings.
“We just try to figure out what we need and‚ as I said‚ we still have a lot of work to do to get really round to go into 90 minutes to dominate more‚ to put more opportunities to score with the right movements‚” he said.
“I only repeat again and again that guys like Lebogang [Manyama] and Eric [Mathoho], they are all fresh.
“They didn’t play for five to six months last year. They are new players coming together with the other guys.”
Middendorp accepted it was perhaps in the interest of the club that Chiefs win the incentives the PSL offers on a quarterly basis.
“It’s not my right, but I know inside the club there are probably those who know what is Q1 and how important it is‚” said Middendorp.
“Of course it increases the budget a little bit‚ but I don’t know exactly how much … but I’m not interested in starting to count points.”
The Chiefs coach will welcome the coming Fifa break, which he said will give a number of his players some time to recuperate from niggling injuries.
Chiefs’ next league game will be away to defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on October 27 after the first round of the Telkom Knockout, which will be played from October 19 to 22.