MIDDENDORP CONTENT WITH SECOND HALF RESPONSE
7 February 2021
Maritzburg United head coach Ernst Middendorp was pleased with his side's response in the second half in their 2-1 Nedbank Cup last 32 win over Sekhukhune United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday evening.
The first half had been a tight affair against the first division log leaders and the scores were locked 0-0 at the interval.
The Team of Choice showed more purpose after the break and scored through Tebogo Tlolane in the 46th minute and Sibusiso Hlubi in the 70th minute.
"The first half was not as we had planned it," coach Ernst said. "You plan for the players to go in a certain direction but then you are wondering why certain processes are not followed.
"But anyway we had a chance to change things at half time. It was a bit better in the second half, basically we are happy to be in the next round."
With a bit more focus, Middendorp felt his side could possibly have avoided conceding in the 90th minute, which made for a nervy ending to the match.
"You have a two-zero, five minutes to play, the corner kick is coming...a little bit of concentration is not there, then all of a sudden you make it a little bit hectic."
The Team of Choice will now turn our attention back to the DStv Premiership. Next up is Friday night's encounter with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
United have slowly been making their way off the foot off the table, although league results have not been positive of late.
Coach Ernst though feels his side are heading in the right direction.
"The first step was to pick up as much as possible [points] to get connected. We connected ourselves to the bottom half. From position nine downwards to position 16," he explained.
One area the German would like to see improvement in is in the mental approach taken by each of the individual players.
"Skills is only one parameter, you need the mentality, you need the willingness, the attitude, the contribution of each and everybody to produce quality and to be successful at the end of the day," Middendorp said.
"At the moment the competition is getting higher and higher, we are bringing in some young players in. We are giving players individual attention to come back to it." the Maritzburg tactician continued.
"It's a process, a journey, we have not the capacity to finalise it in January, not in February, not in March, not in April... to be in a better position where we probably want to be will take time till the end of the season.
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