Chiefs beat Highlands Park 3-2 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, but the score-line could have been more flattering to Chiefs had they not conceded silly goals.
Another goalkeeping error almost cost Chiefs as they allowed the Lions of the North back into a match they had no business getting something from, such was the Soweto giants’ dominance.
“I blame our defence,” Middendorp said. “You have to perform when you’re a national team player. Today we were a little bit shaky. It’s something we have to go into. When you look at the process we have been in the last two-and-a-half months, there has been some improvement. We have changed a lot of things, including our approach.
“We make things difficult for ourselves. But football is like this. The goals we concede are due to individual mistakes. We aren’t in the right positions. If we can score more goals than our opponents, then we’ll be safe. We need to address it. We can do better.”
Chiefs are still finding their feet under the German coach who took over in December. Middendorp’s struggle is that he inherited a team that hasn’t won a trophy in the last three seasons. He doesn’t have the luxury of time though. He has to quickly get the side to buy into his philosophy and win trophies.
“My colleague Pitso (Mosimane) said it took him three years to get Khama (Billiat) and (Keagan) Dolly (to click at Mamelodi Sundowns and play the way he wants). I hope I don’t take that long.
“A lot of players were brought into Chiefs are new. It’s not just Khama Billiat, (Leonardo) Castro and Dax who are new. There are a number of some other players who were lost in the past.
“Let’s also consider that. I am happy with the pressure. If you play a warm up game or a friendly with Chiefs, the pressure is high. You have to win each and every game. The pressure is high. It will take some time.”