Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp insists Amakhosi are not the only ‘big’ side who struggle to break down teams who defend deep, saying Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have also struggled.
The German coach was speaking after his side was held to a 1-1 draw by Stellenbosch FC in Orlando on Sunday evening, thereby missing the chance to extend their lead to eight points.
“This is not just Kaizer Chiefs. It’s Sundowns. It’s Pirates. The blueprint in this bubble is absolutely deep block. Wait for the mistake of defender. That is what happened today again. One in the first half. One in the second (half),” Middendorp told SuperSport TV.
“You get caught. You are zero one. Then you start to play. Then you have to break a deep block. I think you have seen the game. I don’t know. I didn’t count anymore. It is not the first time. We have seen it in a number of games in the bubble. And of course not really having the opportunity to train with the players over a number of weeks.”
“The attacking work needed to break down the deep block is difficult. The defensive work is easier. We really tried from the beginning. We pushed ourselves right until the end to get the second goal. In the end it’s a 1-1. And of course it’s a result we didn’t want.
“It’s the same for Sundowns and Pirates. It’s difficult for us to break down these teams. We see this week in and week out.”
Meanwhile, Chiefs will be without their leading striker Samir Nurkovic when they play second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday. The Serbian striker received his fourth yellow card of the season during the draw against Stellenbosch.
Middendorp questioned why everyone was talking about the possibility of Chiefs players being suspended well ahead of their game against Stellenbosch FC.
“I was quite interested when I heard about how many players of Kaizer Chiefs are on yellow cards. I don’t know if it was just by accident I have never seen it highlighted so much before,” said Middendorp after Sunday’s game