Shaun Bartlett expects to return to Kaizer Chiefs with Ernst Middendorp next season

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is flanked by his son and goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter (R) and assistant Shaun Bartlett (L).
Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is flanked by his son and goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter (R) and assistant Shaun Bartlett (L).
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Shaun Bartlett has had no communication from Kaizer Chiefs on his contract being cut short and is taking that as an indication‚ for now‚ that the current technical team will continue at Amakhosi.

With just five months at the helm‚ head coach Ernst Middendorp and his assistant Bartlett would seem highly unfortunate should they be held completely culpable for Chiefs’ finish outside the top eight in the Absa Premiership‚ and then especially blowing the Nedbank Cup final.

Chiefs finished ninth in the league‚ then lost 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup final in Durban against TS Galaxy‚ who became the first-ever National First Division (NFD) winners of the season-ending knockout trophy.

“The only thing I can say is that nothing has been communicated to me that I won’t be‚” Bartlett said‚ asked if he is aware if he will remain at Chiefs going forward at a launch for the 2019-20 preseason Carling Black Label Cup at Park Station in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“As far as we know as a technical team everybody will still be there.

“When you talk about strengthening [the squad] – maybe adding one or two in certain positions to make sure that we have all areas covered.

“But as far as I know – everybody [in the technical staff] will all still be there.”

Chiefs could have prevented an unprecedented fourth season without a trophy had they beaten Galaxy in the Nedbank.

Amakhosi’s barren spell has seen the club often pummeled by their disgruntled supporters on social media.

Middendorp and Bartlett have come in for more of the same of such treatment.

Bartlett was asked if he felt that was unfair‚ given he and Middendorp had inherited a squad‚ and taken over mid-season.

“Ja‚ I think criticism and opinions will always be given.

"We’ve got to make sure that we use it to our benefit as well‚” the former Chiefs‚ Charlton Athletic and Bafana striker said.

“Coming in at the middle of season is never easy‚ not just for a coach or a technical team but for a player as well.

“It takes a bit of time to adapt and analyse as to what’s happening within the club. And who you can use and who you cannot‚ and how you can move forward with certain players.

“And I think that’s where probably the last six months gave us a clear indication as to which players we can use and who cane be a core of this team going forward.

“Bringing young players into the squad is always a flipside because you need to produce results. And Kaizer Chiefs is a club about making sure you get results.

“But our philosophy is still about maintaining that we will bring young players into the team

“Because we need to freshen it up a little bit‚ and bring in players maybe with a different hunger and desire going forward.”

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