Middendorp not saving trio on yellow cards for derby

Daniel Cardoso (4), Reeve Frosler (39) and Lebo Manyama (21) are Amakhosi players who could miss the derby should they get a booking against Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup last 16 tie in Tembisa this weekend. /Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images
Daniel Cardoso (4), Reeve Frosler (39) and Lebo Manyama (21) are Amakhosi players who could miss the derby should they get a booking against Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup last 16 tie in Tembisa this weekend. /Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp is prepared to risk not having his influential trio of Daniel Cardoso, Lebogang Manyama and Reeve Frosler in next weekend's Soweto derby.

Cardoso, Manyama and Frosler are all on three yellow cards each and if they get booked again in Saturday's Nedbank Cup quarterfinal showdown against Highlands Park (Makhulong Stadium, 3pm), they'll be suspended for the much-anticipated Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates.

However, Middendorp isn't disconcerted by the possibility of the trio missing the derby that could have a massive effect on the league race. The German has confirmed Cardoso, Manyama and Frosler will feature in the Ke Yona last 16 tie in Tembisa this weekend.

"They will all be on the field. That is not the structure [that he saves players for certain games]," Middendorp said at Chiefs' media open-day at their base in Naturena yesterday.

However, the Amakhosi mentor warned the trio: "They should behave; they should do their normal job."

Middendorp suggested his focus was not yet on the derby, hence he's not willing to leave Cardoso, Manyama and Frosler out of the squad to face the Lions of the North. "We said it very clear that our next performance is the most important one and it's on Saturday and nothing else.

"I am not juggling around . left and right ... protecting and hoping and whatever, no! We take the next game [versus Highlands] as the most vital one, it's our basic idea for the entire season and that's it."

With their approach mainly centred around set-plays, where Manyama has been the first-choice taker, Middendorp is still positive the likes of Bernard Parker, George Maluleka and even Frosler can step up to the plate, should Manyama miss the derby.

"George will do the execution, Bernard Parker will do the execution .we have Reeve Frosler who can do the execution. I think that hasn't happened that we rely on a certain moment with one player."

If Cardoso gets booked on Saturday, Siyabonga Ngezana is odds-on to take his place to partner with Mulomowandau Mathoho at the heart of the defence, while Frosler would be likely replaced by Kgotso Moleko at right-back.

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