Ernst Middendorp is experienced enough to shut out the noise from any of Kaizer Chiefs’ detractors ahead of the Soweto Derby on Saturday, says his protégé and Orlando Pirates assistant coach Fadlu Davids.
Amakhosi have suffered back-to-back defeats recently, losing in the Absa Premiership to Maritzburg United, though they remain top of the table, and being eliminated in the Nedbank Cup round of 16 by Highlands Park.
Oppositions fans have argued the wheels could be coming off, but Davids, who played under Middendorp and was also ushered into coaching by the German, argued the contrary when he spoke to journalists this week.
“I think you have to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Chiefs are actually the in-form team, they lost one game now in the league and the last game they lost before that was against SuperSport United (in January),” Davids said.
“They have been pretty much consistent throughout the season, hence their position. On the other hand, do you really read into form when it comes to the derby? I don’t think so. I think their coach is experienced enough to be calm this week and his players will pick up if there’s any change in him this week. He is experienced enough, I know him quite well. He will approach the game as a normal game, not leading too much into what is said.”
A win for Chiefs will consolidate their position at the summit, while Pirates will reduce the gap down to three points, though they have played a game more.
“I expect them to be full strength and firing. It will be a really tough game, we have to be at our best to get the three points. We are not underestimating Chiefs after they lost in the cup, and on penalties. They are the team in form and we are a team only picking up form now later in the season,” said the Buccaneers assistant coach.
Story by @superjourno