Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has offered a detailed explanation why he is going to have to keep ringing the changes until the end of the season.
Amakhosi came from behind to beat Polokwane City 3-2 at the weekend and stretch their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership table to six points, though they have played one more game than Mamelodi Sundowns, their nearest rivals.
Middendorp made four changes to the line-up he’d chosen in Chiefs’ 1-1 draw against Bidvest Wits in their opening game of the league resumption.
That fixture was played three days earlier.
“I fully respect Amakhosi fans in that way. I fully understand that certain players are more loved than others,” said Middendorp.
“But we had a very clear discussion before we stared the remaining eight games, and I will repeat it again and again in camp with the players. We need each and everybody to put a different set up in place seeing that some players only had this six weeks that we talk about. However, it was not six weeks, it was maximum three and a half weeks. The first part was working in a square individually, but not really on the pitch.”
The German mentor argued that his Premier Soccer League counterparts might have a slightly altered approach, but he was prepared to look to his entire squad to see them through the rest of the campaign and indeed the title race.
“Every coach has different ideas, that’s good. They judge the game in a different way. It’s not always the same like I have. We have a very clear understanding, it doesn’t matter if a player is 17-years-old or whatever. If he is with us in the bubble, then he should raise his arm and be part of the team in the first eleven, coming in or starting,” Middendorp explained.
“For instance in the Wits game we had to change the team four times because of injuries and cramping. Let’s not make stories. We trust each and every player.”
Story by @superjourno
Check out exclusive images of Amakhosi training in the bio-bubble