no time to dwell on past

THERE will be no time for nostalgia when Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp faces his former team Kaizer Chiefs in their Absa Premiership match on Sunday.

All the United coach is focusing on is the crucial three points on offer in this clash at Durban's iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"We are ready for Chiefs and to be honest I'm thinking more about my team than Chiefs," Middendorp said yesterday.

"I expect Chiefs to come at us from the first whistle, but I believe my players will able to deal with them.

"We are all looking forward to this match."

Middendorp previously guided Chiefs from the 2005-06 season until March 2007.

In his first season with Amakhosi, the side finished third on the table, won the Absa Cup, the 2006 Vodacom Challenge and the SAA Supa 8.

Middendorp is expecting a tough battle on Sunday for his struggling side.

The German also feels that his task has not been made any easier by his charges' tendency to pick up unnecessary bookings.

"As a coach you plan for every match.

"Sometimes you end up losing players who you wanted to use for other matches because they are suspended.

"You end up losing momentum," he said.

United lost Peter Petersen against AmaZulu last weekend and James Madidilani was red- carded on Wednesday.

But skipper Fadlu Davids believes they will bounce back against Chiefs.

"This clash means a lot to us since our coach is their former mentor.

"We will have to win it for him," he said.

Chiefs' midweek clash with AmaZulu was postponed because of torrential rains.

Players to watch are rejuvenated Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala.

United veteran Bheka Phakathi and Noel Chivuta could pose a danger to Amakhosi.

lAmaZulu have a mammoth task to deal with when they welcome Bloemfontein Celtic at Ulundi Stadium, also on Sunday.

But AmaZulu captain Pere Ariwerayai warned that they intended bouncing back after losing recently to Maritzburg United.

"Playing Celtic means added pressure," he said.

"They seem to have regained their form, but at the end of the day it's our home game and we have to collect maximum points."