Middendorp unfazed by Pitso's mind games

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs mentor Ernst Middendorp has chosen to keep his cool and disregard his Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane's mind games that the odds in  tonight’s clash between the two sides arein Amakhosi’s favour.

This Chiefs-Sundowns clash (6pm) at Orlando Stadium is expected to paint a clearer picture as to who will eventually clinch the championship. Chiefs, who are at the summit of the table on53 points, have a three-point lead over second-placed Sundowns.

After their Monday’s 1-0 win over Golden Arrows, Mosimane was quick to dismiss talk that tonight’s clash decide the title race, emphasising “the coming game is not in our favour, nothing is in our hands, the title is Chiefs' to lose, not ours’’.

Mosimane and Middendorp are known to have a fiery relationship, having thrown jibes at each other a number of times in the past. However, this time around the Germanhas refused to be drawn into his rival's comments.

“We have our focus on our team. We don’t have to answer what somebody is putting to the public. We know what we want. We know what’s at stake and that’s it as we are going into the game,’’ said Middendorp.

The Chiefs coach may not have entertained what Mosimane said, but he suggested tonight’s game could have a say in the title race. “It [this evening’s game] will clear direction. A game like this in the final stage of the season…only three games left after this, it’s always something where you push yourself,’’ stated Middendorp.

After playing the Brazilians, Chiefs take on Bidvest Wits on Sunday before wrapping up the campaign against relegation candidates in Chippa United and Baroka on September 2 and 5 respectively.

Middendorp is aware of the danger posed by clubs fighting for survival. 

“I haven’t really underestimated opponents. Not in this type of environment... we are in the bubble and I think it’s a common sense that each and everybody has to do the job to win…[we] have [to] fight for something,’’ said the German coach.

Meanwhile, this morning Lebogang Manyama and Leonardo Castro are due for late fitness tests to determine if they will feature against Downs.

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