Middendorp: we showed character, attitude
26 May 2016
There were some hugely emotional scenes on Saturday afternoon as Maritzburg United beat Jomo Cosmos to secure their Absa Premiership status.
There were some hugley emotional scenes on Saturday afternoon as Maritzburg United beat Jomo Cosmos to secure their Absa Premiership status.
It had not looked good for the Team of Choice when they found themselves 1-0 down at Olen Park with 10 minutes to go, and with AmaTuks also leading Golden Arrows in Pretoria.
But the relentless pressure United put on Ezenkosi in the second half finally paid off in a sensational manner when a goal from Mohau Mokate and a brace from Evans Rusike clinched a 3-1 win and saw the KZN side escaping relegation in the final minutes of the season, sparking some emotional scenes and finally celebrations which were shared by the sizable Maritzburg support which had made the long trip to the North West.
Having arrived back at the club at the start of the year with the team rooted to the foot of the standings, it was a proud moment for head coach Ernst Middendorp, who paid tribute to the guts his players had shown.
“Huge complement to everyone who was part of this over the last four and a half months. The mayor was here (in Potchestroom), the supporters, unbelievable what happened in the last four months, fantastic,” said Middendorp.
“It was very difficult. You play good games and perform, but you still lose, Bidvest Wits in the 94th minute, similar against SuperSport. But the performances were good, I did not have much to criticise.
“We always moved on, we always tried to do better. That is the hard part, to keep going, not to give up. You need character for it, you need attitude for it, huge complement.”
The German revealed how he has managed to rally his troops at half time:
“I said okay guys, Tuks are leading 2-0, we are 0-1 down, we are out as it is now. But I know you guys, you are capable to make it happen (survival), we have 45 minutes, we’ll make it. We’ll make some changes, players like Abia Nale were crucial in the second half.
“We needed the first goal, it was very crucial to make the first goal from Mohau. Very crucial to make the first goal, and then I know, something is coming,” he said.