Kaizer Chiefs are now at an even greater risk of finishing outside of the top eight in the Absa Premiership following a 1-0 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic which coach Ernst Middendorp believes happened before the game started.
Middendorp said in a post-match TV interview that he was let down by three of his senior players whose body language didn’t show they were trying to win at Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.
“It started during the warm- up when I saw three guys, and I said to them: ‘Guys, I see in the warming up you are not in it.’ These are experienced players, players who have to take the lead in the team. But they only started playing when we were 1-0 down but then the opponents had closed the doors,” said the German.
Celtic scored through Ndumiso Mabena’s excellently curled free-kick in the first half. Amakhosi didn’t offer much resistance until at least after some changes in the second half. They had a few chances to get something out of the game but poor decisions and their finishing up front were again the side’s Achilles heel.
Phunya Sele Sele could have also scored at least two more but were also let down by lack of awareness in front of goal.
Middendorp admitted that their slow start killed any chance they had of getting anything out of the match. “We started slowly. We started with arrogance. We started with the wrong dynamic, without the right intention.
“We highlighted it a lot. But we went 1-0 down. The opponents closed the back door and we couldn’t find the key. It has happened again and again.
“But we will start again next week. It is no secret that we need the points, we need to do better. That is very clear,” he said.
Chiefs remain seventh in the standings with 38 points after 28 games. They play Free State Stars at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday before finishing their league campaign against Chippa United away.