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Still plenty of hard work ahead for Chiefs

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“We sat down after that defeat and decided that we have to go on,”

Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs during the 2019 Telkom Knockout Quarter Final Kaizer Chiefs Media Day at the Chiefs Village, Johannesburg on the 30 October 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

KAIZER Chiefs endured a disastrous season last term but they have bounced back with a bang in the new season.

The Amakhosi finished outside the top eight in the league and, to add insult to injury, succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of National First Division outfit TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup.

It was a season to forget for Amakhosi but it’s been a completely different story in 2019/20.

Chiefs are sitting at the summit of the Absa Premiership table with 22 points, they are in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout, and are on the verge of acquiring the Q-Innovation 1 accolade.

Coach Ernst Middendorp (pictured) has revealed the secret behind the club’s turnaround and current success.

“It is not possible (to reveal our secrets to our early success). It is a long story, I think our loss against TS Galaxy served as a wake-up call. It was difficult sitting here on May 19.

“We sat down after that defeat and decided that we have to go on,” Middendorp explained.

And how they have ‘gone on’. Amakhosi will next host Golden Arrows in the TKO semi-finals later this month and the log leaders are taking nothing for granted.

“We started the new season with a clear target. We want to do well. We’ve mixed it up. We reduced our numbers.

“You may think everything is fantastic but it is not. We have to do a lot of stuff better if we want to have sustainable structure,” the coach said.

Chiefs last tasted success in 2015 but they are clearly getting closer to ending their trophy drought.

“If you want success don’t keep quiet. You must be stubborn. That is in my personal character and mindset. A lot of stuff has to be done better. We have to challenge ourselves. We have to work hard.

“We have to communicate. We have to not be satisfied with our progress.

“Yes, we’ve advanced to the next stage (of the Telkom Knockout) but we should use that as a way to increase our energy. Our success must not depend on one player or one manager. It is critical to challenge each other.” Middendorp explained.

Amakhosi will lock horns against bottom-of-the-table Chippa United in an Absa Premiership showdown at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth tonight. But they will not take anything for granted.

Thought Chiefs are brimming with confidence having beaten both Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in the last two weekends they know that overconfidence has been the undoing of many high-flying teams in the past, and they will be determined not to make that same mistake.