It’s crunch time for Ernst
Middendorp’s been enjoying success with Chiefs, but Downs pose biggest threat yet
[email protected] thumping of Elgeco Plus.
He also beat the same side with the same 3-0 scoreline away from home. Nzama doesn’t doubt the credentials of Middendorp but thinks that the game against Sundowns this afternoon will be a huge challenge for the German.
“Ernst is quite good – I’ll concede that. Under him, I was one of his captains. I know him very well. We won two cups under his tenure at Chiefs. If my memory serves me right it was the ABSA Cup and the SAA Super Eight,” Nzama said.
Amakhosi are set to face the Brazilians without the services of Itumeleng Khune who is still injured. Virgil Vries will slot in for him. Chiefs are yet to concede a goal under the tutelage of Middendorp which is a positive sign for a side that struggled at the start of the season. They have kept three clean sheets in their last three games.
“He is a good coach but you know in big clubs there’s always pressure and there’s no time to settle. Winning cups is not enough at Chiefs if you don’t win the league,” he added.
Chiefs and Sundowns trail behind the log leaders, Bidvest Wits, in the league table.
Sundowns are fifth and Chiefs sixth and they are separated by just one point although Downs have played three games fewer than Chiefs. But, as they say, games in hand are not necessarily points in the bag. So, Sundowns still need to out there and make those games in hand count. They are eight points behind Wits and Chiefs, therefore, are nine back. Clearly, both sides need to quickly make some inroads in the title race.
“I don’t think we should put too much pressure on Middendorp,” says Nzama. “He was given two and half years. So far, he has started very well and won all his games. And I believe he’ll continue to do well with Chiefs. But now the big test is Sundowns.”
Chiefs will be looking to become the first team to beat Sundowns in the league this season.
In fact the Brazilians are yet to taste defeat in the league this term and are the only club to be in this position.