Normally coaches who are brought in half through the season are mandated to stabilise the team and prepare for the following season.
But the German mentor’s situation at Amakhosi is not normal. He has got to win a trophy in his first six month to shield the club from the shame of going four full seasons without any official silverware. It is a task he has accepted.
“Our obligation is to qualify for the next round of the Nedbank Cup,” said Middendorp this week ahead of today’s Ke Yona Last 16 clash against ABC Motsepe League side The Magic FC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
“We are serious about winning… we want to win every match we play,” he added. “We observed Magic FC last weekend. We had our scouts watching their game. We have information about their structure and way of playing. We will be well prepared to win the match,” said the 60-year-old mentor.
Having been taken as far as extra time in their opening Ke Yona match against another ABC Motsepe League side, Tornado FC last month, Amakhosi know not to be lax in their approach tomorrow.
“We are going to play our best eleven. We are not going there relaxed. But it’s still about our own ideas and strategy,” he said. With Amakhosi’s chances in the Absa Premeirship title chance not so bright, Ke Yona looks like the only cup that the Naturena based side can find solace.
Middendorp is likely to use the same starting X1 he used in the 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates in a league game last weekend with the exception of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who is cup-tied as he played in the opening stages for his former team Chippa United. Middendorp confirmed that Bruce Bvuma will take the poles tomorrow.
Magic coach, David Kannenmeyer said he had had a serious talk with his players, urging them to give their best as this is their best chance to show the country what they can do and earn themselves admirers in the professional ranks.
“My players have to remember that this is their chance to sell themselves,” he said. “My worry was that they might be star struck as we play a big team whom some of the players probably support. I told them they must not be star struck.
“We are naturally an attack minded team who rely more on the strikers and we are going with the same approach in this game,” added the former Amakhosi defender.