Chiefs might have lost all three points in that match, but their performances on the field won the hearts of many
Kaizer Chiefs’ coach Ernst Middendorp (pictured) is adamant that there won’t be time to experiment with new combinations in the Nedbank Cup seeing as they are looking to bring back the glory days in Naturena.
The Glamour Boys are currently enduring a three-year barren run as far as silverware is concerned; but their Nedbank Cup campaign that starts on Sunday against minnows Tornado FC will give them a chance of breaking that hoodoo before the run gets into a fourth season.
“We are not messing around by taking a second (string) line-up by resting this player and that one No! We are definitely bringing each and every body that is fully available into the squad and the field,” Middendorp said, referring to the importance of setting the tone from the onset.
It’s been barely two months since Middendorp returned for his second stint with the Glamour Boys, and thus far there’s been more positives than negatives.
In their last seven games under Middendorp’s tenure, there’s been a sense of growth from his troops. Add to this the fact that they’ve won three league matches out of four; while the other game was against champions Mamelodi Sundowns in their first encounter of the New Year.
On paper, Chiefs might have lost all three points in that match, but their performances on the field won the hearts of many.
Fast track to four games later, the number of intakes in the medical room piled up as they had lost integral players payers such as Itumeleng Khune, Philani Zulu, Lebogang Manyama, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Eric Mathoho.
And although that resulted in them bouncing out of the Caf Confederation Cup, they bagged two back-to-back wins against leaders Bidvest Wits and AmaZulu, even with the minimal resources at their disposal.
“We had a number of resources (to compete),” Middendorp said of their disappointment in the African Safari.
“For instance, Kgotso Moleko was not in the plans at all before, he was just dropped to the side. Nobody was working with him but we made sure not to make the same mistakes.
“We are trying to look internally because basically at this time there are no players that are on the market.
“Our main job is to give the players that are here the attention.”
The German tactician is not a stranger to winning trophies for the Glamour Boys. During his first stint from 2005-2007, he won two, the SAA Supa8 and the Absa Cup – which are now known as the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup respectively.
Furthermore, the last time Chiefs bagged the Ke Yona Cup was in 2013 under the tutelage of Stuart Baxter.
The 60-year-old Middendorp reckons that doing well in this year’s competition can propel them to even a better start next season.
“Of course, there’s frustration when a brand like Kaizer Chiefs doesn’t even pick up one competition,” the Amakhosi said. “As a player and coach there’s no need to ask the mandate because that’s very clear.
“You do your best, put everything day-in-and-out and (you’ll be rewarded).
“There’s still a long way to go before the end of the season, and I am convinced about (the change of fortunes).