Maritzburg United are starting to be a formidable force under German tactician Ernst Middendorp, who is delighted with the continued improvement his side has made since he took over in November.
Middendorp doesn’t want to fight for survival at the foot of the table as he has challenged his troops to at least be part of the “middle class” and concede fewer goals.
‘Team of Choice’ were languishing at the bottom of the DStv Premiership table without a point when the 62-year-old coach replaced Eric Tinkler but the club’s form has steadily improved.
Under the leadership of Middendorp, Maritzburg have claimed seven of the nine points in the league this year with two wins and three draws. They are 13th on the log standings with nine points after 11 matches.
In their most recent game, Maritzburg played out to a goalless draw against AmaZulu at Kings Park Stadium on Sunday in the KwaZulu-Natal derby and Middendorp insists that there is still room for improvement.
“We started well since I took over on November 26, and we made it very clear that there is a certain barometer that the goal difference we have is too much. We can’t concede two goals per game consistently. We need stability, and that was important for us,” said Middendorp.
As Maritzburg look to make their way up and compete for a top-eight position after a poor start to the season, Middendorp has made it clear that it’s a process that will not happen overnight.
“But we are very concentrated step-by-step to progress and step-by-step to move out of this deep position to come a bit closer to the mid-table. That’s our target and in the end,” added the German coach.
Middendorp and his men will next take on a struggling TS Galaxy outfit on Wednesday afternoon at the Harry Gwala Stadium (kickoff at 17:00.)
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Maritzburg United