HARD WORK LIES AHEAD: MIDDENDORP
27 August 2021
Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp admits that hard work lies ahead over the next two weeks after their second successive setback of the season this past week.
The Team of Choice suffered a 2-0 defeat to DStv Premiership new boys Sekhukhune United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday, a result that came on the back of their 2-1 loss to Lamontville Golden Arrows in the opening match of the term on the weekend.
“We have two weeks to now prepare for the next game and we’re in a situation where we didn’t want to be coming into the season,” Middendorp said. “We’re aware that there are a number of new players, so it won’t be easy.
“But we have to consider all our options and how to turn things around. We’ll work hard to do that.”
It was a frustrating 90 minutes for Maritzburg with Chibuike Ohizu’s double inside the opening half-hour proving decisive to the outcome.
There were chances for Bafana Bafana striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane, his namesake Lifa Hlongwane and Ghanaian forward Richard Zumah during the game, but those were not taken.
However, Middendorp was mainly disillusioned by their defensive showing.
“We definitely were not on the field for the first 30 minutes,” the German added. “It’s really a surprise to see how we conceded the goals considering we have such an experienced line-up.
“We opened up completely at the centre with the first goal, I don’t know really what was given over there. The second goal over the top to the back post where we had Clayton Daniels and Riyaaz Ismail with good heading ability, but we allowed a shorter player to score, it was disappointing.
“We needed 30 minutes to put our combinations together and by then we were already 2-0 down. Of course in the second half you then try, you play, you push them back into their own half with the danger of the counter-attack, a few of which they had and we didn’t concede, but then we didn’t threaten either.
“It’s not a good performance and at the moment I’m a little bit irritated because I see the team, I see the players during training in a different way. I don’t really know what happened and it’s a performance that cannot be accepted.”
The league is now on a two week cup and international break, with Maritzburg’s next assignment away at Baroka FC on September 11.
* For the latest news on Maritzburg United, follow or like us on our social media handles listed below in the Fans section*