Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp is happy with the flexibility of his players who appear to be able to adapt to various tactical formations in one game just like they did in the 2-1 win over Cape Town City on Tuesday night.
Chiefs had to come from behind to get their win with a gallant performance that saw Bernard Parker finishing the game playing as a leftback after Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya was replaced.
“I am tactically flexible as a coach. I have been a coach for 25 years. That is what I am always trying to get from my players… that they be flexible,” said Middendorp after the match.
He said he had to reshape his team in the second half to be able to match City who were coming at them from all angles and with Ntiya-Ntiya already sitting on a yellow card, he had to prevent a possible sending-off.
“If you want to go into a Formula 1 race but you have a Fiat Panda then you can’t compete, you can’t win. I think it was important for us to look at which type of players we have available and which type of players we have back from injury.
“Look at today, Ntiya-Ntiya was on a yellow card and we knew they were going to come at us on the counter-attack and we needed to do something and Bernard did well (as a leftback). It is what we are working on. It doesn’t matter whether you are 22 or 32, you have to be flexible,” explained Middendorp.
He admitted that playing a speedy and hard-running team like City just a few days after playing against SuperSport United with who they drew 1-1 at the FNB Stadium last weekend was a bit of a challenge but was happy that they managed to provide a winning performance.
“We had some issues going into the game. 72 hours ago we had a pacey game against SuperSport who I think have a similar game model to City.
“But in the first half we reacted adequately well and applied more pressure on the ball and on going forward. We made mistakes but started the second half with some changes.
“In the end we are happy with the three points,” he said.
The German coach said he would use the two-week break his team now have after Tuesday’s game to bring up to speed some of his players like Lazarous Kambole, Yagan Sasman and James Kotei.