Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has attempted to refute suggestions that his side have been inconsistent this season, pointing instead towards their injury struggles.
Though Chiefs have not won back-to-back games since December, when they beat SuperSport United and Elgeco Plus in both legs of the CAF Confederation Cup, Middendorp has insisted they have not been inconsistent.
Most recently, Amakhosi looked a reinvigorated side when they waltzed past Cape Town City in their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal but failed to maintain that in their shock defeat at home to Baroka a few days later and again in their draw away to Black Leopards.
Still, Middendorp claims this is no issue around consistency but rather a culmination of many factors they’re having to deal with including injuries at this stage of the season.
“I really can’t confirm this stuff you pump into the public. I think, you can’t talk about inconsistency, that’s not the case; that’s not true,” defended Middendorp.
“Just because we had one home given away [lost to Baroka], now you talk about inconsistency? I said before the last Nedbank Cup game, over the previous quarter, Cape Town City was first, SuperSport second – with 16 points, and Kaizer Chiefs third – 15 points.
“I think, actually, you can’t go and talk about inconsistency, we have a lot of stuff to handle here and I’m always repeating that coming in in December and having a number of players – Lebogang Manyama, Erick Mathoho, Joseph Molangoane, Itu Khune, Philani Zulu…
“I’m not even talking about the younger guys now with a rupture of the Achilles tendon and the other with broken bones, and you’ve seen how influential they have been when they came in.
“This is what we have to handle to bring them back, to deal with it and find solutions – the right mixture of players who are talented and play on instinct and ones who are very responsible and always have something in mind to benefit the team as they play.
“This is something we’re busy with, and if a goalkeeper is not available then you have to look at another one who can do the job – likewise with a striker against Baroka, so you can’t talk about inconsistency as if the coach chose not to play his two strikers.
“If players are not available and I can’t use them, then you can’t talk and find something to blame this one and that one, they are not available – that’s as simple as it is. So, we find other solutions, which sometimes work and other times it doesn’t. That’s the complexity of football.”