Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has dismissed suggestions of complacency cited as the reason behind his side’s 3-1 annihilation at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night.
In a match, where few expected Amakhosi to stumble, Middendorp’s men allowed Celtic to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 triumph at Tuks Stadium.
Chiefs’ performances raised questions about complacency especially in the wake of Mamelodi Sundowns’ faltering on Monday, where Pitso Mosimane’s side lost 3-2 to Cape Town City. Middendorp has defended his players following their below-par performances.
“It’s not about really we got carried away. We were aware about it that it is a difficult game. Now it won’t be easier on Sunday playing against Stellenbosch FC. It’s not a situation where you must think because one team won and one team lost, this is a different experience for each and every team,” said Middendorp.
“Don’t be too busy with what happened, the past, we have to go as quick as possible to see freshness moving into preparation for game. It is definitely not about carried away. Definitely not about the wake up call. It is about really basically directions, what has to be done during the next game.
“It’s not just a situation for me that just because another team has not made the points, I was carried away and thought everything is fantastic. That’s not what it is about. In this campaign, project, starting on August 08 and finishing on September 05, everybody must know, we have seen results today that is not as expected.
“With some results in other games not as expected. It’s definitely something where we have to be alert about it and to prepare ourselves for four days to be in better shape on Sunday.”
On Wednesday night, Chiefs had taken the lead through defender Eric Mathoho’s header before Motebang Sera led Celtic’s comeback with a brace. Victor Letsoalo put matters beyond doubt with Celtic’s third. Chiefs didn’t click with the likes of Khama Billiat, Samir Nurkovic and Lebogang Manyama failing to ignite some spark. Middendorp was not impressed with how his men fluffed chances, especially in the final third.
“Individually in the final box, there was too much rushing. We had a position where we could have taken the second touch to prepare ourselves. It doesn’t matter. It was a number of players where we know we can do better. Position around the box, inside the box where we blasted it away instead of being patient, being calm, put ourselves in a better position. It didn’t work out as we wanted.”
Middendorp will be crossing his fingers that it works out when Chiefs host Stellenbosh FC at Orlando Stadium on Sunday evening. Despite the loss Chiefs remain at the top with 52 points, six ahead of Sundowns.
By Hosea Ramphekwa