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Chiefs won’t underestimate Royal Eagles

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The biggest upset Chiefs suffered was at the hands of Baroka FC in 2011. Bakgaga were an amateur side then

KAIZER Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp responded with three words to the question of whether he will give his players an extra warning going into their Nedbank Cup clash against a lower division team.

“Not at all,” Middendorp said with frustration written all over his face.

The question wasn’t misplaced even though the German didn’t like it. Chiefs have been stunned by minnows a couple of times in the Nedbank Cup. Last year they were beaten by TS Galaxy, a team that was barely a year old and campaigning in the GladAfrica Championship.

The biggest upset Chiefs suffered was at the hands of Baroka FC in 2011. Bakgaga were an amateur side then.

Royal Eagles, who languish at the bottom of the first division, will look at these stories for inspiration when they visit Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup.

“We are not really taking it easy, just because we are meeting a team that’s fighting to stay in the NFD. Definitely not. We have been very busy with it, to look at Royal Eagles’ last three games because, as everybody knows, they have introduced a number of players. The results are obviously coming.

“I saw them myself when they were playing against Ajax Cape Town in Pietermaritzburg,” Middendorp said.

Chiefs might sit at the summit of the Absa Premiership standings but they had a rocky start to 2020. They will be looking to use this match against Eagles to bring some stability.

“We had our issues, our challenges in the run of the season after having a break,” the coach added.

“The team knows that we will not break the core of the team, meaning we are not going there with a freshened-up team. We stick to our core players we have used the entire season.”

That core group of players will include Khama Billiat, who is now fully fit, while goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is likely to continue sitting on the bench behind Daniel Akpeyi who has had a brilliant season.

“Sometimes players must wait, they must wait for their opportunity whenever that is right,” Middendorp said.