JOHANNESBURG, November 7 – Following their 2-0 Premiership win over Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp said securing the victory was of utmost importance.
The triumph ensured Amakhosi enjoy a seven-point cushion at the summit of the Premiership table on 25 points from 10 matches. Sundowns have a game in hand but are their nearest rivals on 18 points. Bidvest Wits are another three points behind in third on 15 points.
“It was a match which was all about a win,” said Middendorp. “We had a number of players who have not started in a match this season. If you think of Dumisani Zuma and Siyabonga Ngezana, they’ve always come in as substitutes.”
“It was always going to be difficult for the new combinations that we employed to start on a high note.
Though a significant gap has been forged by the Soweto giants at the top of the log, Middendorp said his side’s position on the table was not a major concern.
“I want to emphasise that I don’t look at the log that much. I’m not really interested in the log positions. We focus on the game and try to find the right balance always. Other teams have games in hand and you’ll never know what will happen. I’m glad we are collecting points at this stage.”
“I was in PE on Sunday and saw Chippa play. I went back and had to collect reports on every player. This is crucial that the medical team has a say in guiding and giving a report about the players. The doctors gave me instructions on the conditions of the players. It is very clear I have to listen to technical advice. We found Erick Mathoho, Lebogang Manyama, and Khama Billiat needed extra days to recover.
“Other cases were obvious in our selection. Daniel Akpeyi is clearly on three yellow cards and we had to look at that and make a decision in that area. I’m glad Bruce Bvuma played well and kept a clean sheet.”
Ahead of the Soweto Derby against Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday Middendorp said: “I have feedback already that the other players are available for selection in the next game. The reports I have received from home is that even Reeve Frosler and Kearyn Baccus should be ready for Saturday.
“The games before and after the Soweto Derby are tricky. This one is more complicated and needed some juggling. Playing a derby two weekends in a row and having a midweek game was always a challenge. A huge compliment goes to the players. They are really coming to the party and adapting well to the situation.”
– African News Agency (ANA)