Ernst Middendorp is warning against too much euphoria and expectation after victory in his first game back as coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
The new Chiefs mentor got off to a winning start when George Maluleka scored just after the hour mark to ensure a 1-0 victory over SuperSport United at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday.
“I’ve been in this lovely soccer industry business far too long to know that a line of progress‚ a line of work‚ a line of where you want to go‚ is never straight‚" he said.
“You have ups and you have downs and everyone must understand this. I’m well aware of this.
“I’m not celebrating too much but neither am I disappointed.
"This line is never straight. There should always be progress but now we must look ahead to the next game.”
“It was important to win the game and‚ in the end‚ we deserved to do so.
"The pressure is obviously high to make it happen‚ especially after Orlando Pirates won on Tuesday night and with important games ahead for us in January.”
Wednesday’s win saw Chiefs reach the halfway mark of their league programme.
“I only had five days to prepare and there were players out through injury and suspension but I wasn’t bothered by all that‚" he said.
“Under these circumstances it was a good game.
“I watched the players doing their jobs well‚ they are responding. It’s good. A coach should always be looking how to take the team forward and make progress.”
The usually taciturn Middendorp did allow himself a smile and punch of the air when Maluleka scored but for the rest of the time on the bench‚ and at the post-match press conference‚ kept up a poker face‚ betraying little emotion.
He said he did not want to swell too long on the win but instead start immediately with the preparations for Saturday’s African Confederation Cup tie against Elgeco Plus of Madagascar.
The first leg of the second round tie will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban with the return seven days later in Antananarivo.
Their first game in the new year is against champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Soccer City on Saturday‚ January 5.