Clean sheet puts smile on mentor

Middendorp sitting pretty at Maritzburg

Neville Khoza Journalist
Ernst Middendorp (Head Coach) of Maritzburg Utd during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Maritzburg United.
Ernst Middendorp (Head Coach) of Maritzburg Utd during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Maritzburg United.
Image: Steve Haag/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

Ernst Middendorp is pleased with the progress Maritzburg United have made since he took over in November.

When he joined the club by replacing Eric Tinkler, the Team of Choice were languishing at the bottom of the table without a point.

Since he took over, the club has recorded nine points with two victories and three draws and are currently 13th on the DStv Premiership log standings. 

Following their goalless draw against AmaZulu at Kings Park Stadium on Sunday in the KwaZulu-Natal derby, Middendorp believes there is still room for improvement for his side.

“We started well since I took over on November 26, and we made it very clear that there is a certain barometer that the goal difference we have is too much. We can’t concede two goals per game consistently. We need stability, and that was important for us,” Middendorp told the media after the game.

“Secondly, playing diagonal forward by making sure that we have the right movement, and we did well in other games. But I believe AmaZulu are one of the stronger teams in terms of options, they have Bongi Ntuli and Siphelele Mthembu and a lot of other players. Normally they should be in the first 11.

“These types of options are a little bit short at the moment, but we are very concentrated step-by-step to progress and step-by-step to move out of this deep position to come a bit closer to the mid-table.”

The German mentor was also pleased with a point his side got against Usuthu and to have kept a clean-sheet. “In the end, I can sleep very well with this one point we got from the Durban derby.

“We played a derby here knowing that we are only two points from the bottom, and it is always important to look into your blueprint, and you want to make sure that what would happen to come out from this position.

“The first good thing we did was to keep a clean sheet, our second this season with some excellent goalkeeping [from Jethren Barr] today. No doubt, and we won a point against the strong team.

“The ambitions are always to win a game, but sometimes you have to be realistic, and you have to know where you are sitting and where you are coming from.”

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