“We should have done better to have a comfortable lead in the first half,” reflects Ernst Middendorp who is celebrating his birthday today. “We played a good team with quality players. They have also a good and a qualified coach in Pitso Mosimane. We had to go to them well prepared. Credit to everyone, not forgetting the supporters – they really gave us ‘the extra man.’”
Middendorp saw his side through four consecutive wins when they beat the fancied Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday. “We tried hard to and did well to manage the game. We are very happy especially with an incremental step we are on. The win itself is just a three pointer. We know there is still a long way to go.”
Man of the Match Samir Nurković was the toast of the town with a brace of goals appearing under his name to nil of Sundowns. The match lived to its billing!
“It is ok, we will move on and prepare for the next game,” adds Middendorp modestly,. “Happiness is an enemy of progress in football. So, we will not get carried away. Next week we have three back to back games. We have to focus and do our homework properly.”
Nurković’s second goal was created by Dumsani Zuma with his darting run on the by line, a muddle ensued in the box and Nurković pounced and blasted home. “Nurković’s work rate is exceptional. He influences the team; he is impactful, and he motivates others, acknowledges the coach.
“I am happy with the impact of Dumsani Zuma. He always comes on and makes a difference. The combination we played is not written in stone. We vary things according to the demand of the game.”
Youngster Njabulo Blom played a blinder on the right back, “Blom played in Poland in different positions at the World Cup. He is adaptable and he did a fantastic job for us. We are still waiting for Nkosingiphile Ngcobo who’s recovering and Happy Mashiane is progressing well too. These youngsters are important in our planning.
“Beating Sundowns in their backyard is good for the motivation of the team. We were clinical in the box and used our opportunities. We were more clinical than Sundowns. I am happy with the three points and maintaining the position on top of the log,” he says in conclusion.