There is little doubt that new Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp will be better than his predecessor Giovanni Solinas, but it will depend on whether the temperamental German manages to win the players over, something veteran striker Bernard Parker suggested he had already done.
Parker has predicted better things for the side under Middendorp as he feels the German coach has brought a heightened sense of excitement and the players are all looking to make a good impression.
His temper-charged antics aside, Middendorp will probably bring much-needed tactical changes and discipline to the Amakhosi side.
Now Parker hopes the excitement he has seen at training will be transferred onto the field at Mbombela Stadium where they host SuperSport United in an Absa Premiership match at 7.30pm tonight.
“There has been a positive response from the players,” said the former Bafana Bafana international. “There has been a spark of energy. That is good and it is keeping everyone on their toes. That is a plus and it is what we needed at this time,” added the 32-year-old.
Chiefs have managed 18 points in 14 games so far this season after four wins, six draws and four defeats and Parker said the time for them to climb up and put their name in the hat for Premiership glory had come.
“We know SuperSport very well and they have been doing well. But we are eager, we want to bounce back and get into a better position in the league and be among the leaders.
“I hope we take this excitement and positivity to the game so that we can get the points which we so desperately need,” he said.
Middendorp said he would not be looking to make wholesale changes but the one thing he said needed working on was the players’ mentality as he felt the recent results had taken their toll on them.
With the team having won just one – against lowly and semi-professional Zimamoto in the Caf Confederation Cup – in their last five matches, Middendorp knows he will have to make a good first impression especially with the guarded reception his hiring got from the club’s fans.