Coach impressed by fighting spirit of his squad

Middendorp encouraged by Maritzburg United's change of fortune

Neville Khoza Journalist
FILE IMAGE: Ernst Middendorp, coach of Maritzburg United.
FILE IMAGE: Ernst Middendorp, coach of Maritzburg United.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

After collecting four points in their last two matches, Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp feels his side is improving and on the right track to survive relegation.

The Team-of-Choice beat Black Leopards 1-0 last week before drawing 1-1 withBloemfontein Celtic at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium on Saturday.

Thabiso Kutumela gave Maritzburg the lead just before the interval but Menzi Ndwandwe equalised in the second half to make sure they shared the points.

Despite being in the relegation zone with 13 points from 17 matches, the German was pleased with the result against Phunya Sele Sele.

“Definitely, for us the point is a huge value. We put in a good fight over the 90 minutes. Not a football game you would like to see again and again but at the moment it is all about picking up points,” Middendorp told the club media department after the game.

“Keeping up a goal difference and when we were leading 1-0, there was a moment where I thought we could have done more in our counter to finish in the final third. But we conceded a goal in such a moment whereby we were a little bit shaky, but on the other side, we have to realise that most of our experienced players were not around.

“We relied on young players to do the job and it was a valuable point for us considering all that. We closed the book and we are preparing for our next game on Wednesday [against Kaizer Chiefs].”

What impressed the 62-year-old the most was the fighting spirit his players showed and he hopes to see the same against Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday.

“This is something where we had a lot of choices individually and in groups after our defeat against Tshakhuma in the first half of the season,” Middendorp said.

“It is good to see that we have energy and other dynamics on the field from each and everybody contributing to the team performance.

“I think so far we’ve picked four points in two matches, and this is a good start, and next game coming on Wednesday, we have to make points again.”

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