Middendorp confident Kaizer Chiefs will blow Magic into thin air
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp believes his technical team have done the research necessary to overcome Magic FC‚ a second ABC Motsepe League side they will battle against in the Nedbank Cup‚ in order to earn the quarterfinal spot.
Chiefs meet Magic in a potentially tricky last-16 matchup at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
Answering questions about his team’s preparedness to face Cape Town-based Magic after struggling to eliminate Tornado FC (also campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League in the Eastern Cape) at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium last month‚ Middendorp said they have acquired all information they need on Magic.
The Cape side are part-owned by former Bafana Bafana striker and AmaZulu striker George Dearnaley and coached by former Mamelodi Sundowns left-back David Kannemeyer.
Chiefs needed an own goal by an unlucky Tornado defender Abongile Twani in the fourth minute of the extra time to win 1-0 and progress to the last 16 last month.
Middendorp confirmed he’s done a thorough research on Magic to have enough information and to know what kind of threat they can pose to his side.
“We’ve recorded their game against Santos on February 9 and an additional scout was there to watch this game‚” said Middendorp‚ who also revealed he will deploy the young Bruce Bvuma in Chiefs’ goals as new signing‚ Daniel Akpeyi is cup tied having featured for Chippa United before in this competition.
“We have the information in terms of what they are doing and of their structure.
“This is definitely something to consider in order to prepare ourselves but as I said‚ in the end I think the obligation is on our side to prepare ourselves and not‚ for an example‚ go with a second-string side or to relax in the training session.”
Middendorp’s decision of starting Bvuma ahead of out-of-favour Namibian-born shot-stopper Virgil Vries is a clear indication of how low he’s now placed Vries in the perking order of five keepers he has at Chiefs.
“It’s known that we cannot use our goalkeeper Daniel because he’s cup tied‚ meaning he’s not available for us‚” Middendorp said.
“I’m forced to change and our goalkeeper will be Bruce Bvuma.
“We are respecting Magic and we’ve observed them in their last game against Santos.
“We know they had this qualifying success against Maccabi FC [they won 1-0 on penalties].
“The biggest sign to show we are respecting Magic is that we are coming to the field with our best XI to PE and to take it very seriously.”
Middendorp also confirmed he has no injury or suspension concerns other than that of well-known long-term injuries of No 1 keeper Itumeleng Khune‚ attacking midfielder Lebo Manyama and defender Eric Mathoho.
Chiefs are under immense pressure to win this trophy after going three seasons without adding one to their cabinet‚ which is an unprecedented spell for Kaizer Motaung’s side.