Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
16 Jan 2020
9:40 am

Endurance is crucial for Kaizer Chiefs

Sibongiseni Gumbi

It was a game where Ernst Middendorp's Kaizer Chiefs were not at their best but the coach was happy that they at least got out of the match what is most important – the win and three points – which sets them up for their first Absa Premiership title since 2015.

Ernst Middendorp of Kaizer Chiefs (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

While the performance was nothing to write home about in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Cape Town City, the team managed the game well and scored the goals which saw them extend their lead to nine points at the top of the table.

READ: Wits confirm Chiefs defender Lorenzo Gordinho’s signing

“It was definitely not a game of excellence, but I believe we showed the art of managing the game‚ scoring at the right time and not allowing the opponent to come even close,” said Middendorp.
His team showed an incredible endurance as they managed to keep a determined Cape Town City away from their goal with a solid defensive display that saw Daniel Akpeyi having to make just three saves the entire game.

Middendorp, ironically, believes that Chiefs were actually at their best in 2020 in their game against SuperSport, which they lost, even though they have followed that with 3-0 wins over Highlands Park and Cape Town City.

“You will be surprised that for me the best game was against SuperSport United. That is in terms of dominance, in terms of producing opportunities to score goals and we conceded an offside goal to lose it 2-1,” said Middendorp.

“I think what is most important is how you manage the game and come out of it. There was not a lot of stuff we had to criticise (from the SuperSport game).”

There is also some concern with the scheduling of games as teams are sometimes forced to play three games in the space of a week while at times they have long breaks between matches.

“I am not involved in the making of the (fixture) program…There is always space for improvement and this stretching of games – sometimes you have one game in a month and sometimes three in a week. I don’t know why it happens but it is a handicap to the players. They are not used to it but the block is a heavy one especially if you use mainly the same players all the time,” added Middendorp.

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