Middendorp says Chiefs played around 25 percent of their capacity in damaging league loss to Baroka
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has said that he had a feeling during last week that his players might not have the right intensity to beat Baroka FC.
Baroka FC beat Amakhosi 1-0 on Saturday night to seriously dent heir hopes of staying relevant in the race for the Absa Premiership title race.
Middendorp had warned about complacency from his players coming off a polished 2-0 Nedbank Cup win over Cape Town City in Nelspruit on Sunday‚ against a Baroka who went into the game at FNB Stadium dangerously desperate in second-last place on the log standings.
As it turned out‚ it was more flatness from Chiefs than any special brilliance from Baroka that saw them sneak a valuable three points that took the Limpopo team from 15th to 14th position thanks to Tshediso Patjie's well-struck free kick in the 66th minute.
“We will get the confirmation‚ and the evidence‚ about distance covered‚ about sprints‚ movement off the ball‚” Middendorp said afterwards.
“If you take it today and compare it to last week‚ we are definitely around 25 percent.
“And if something like this is missing‚ in particular against a team that was set up to close the spaces where we normally move‚ then ja‚ it gets difficult."
Middendorp said he had been so concerned about the flatness he had been picking up from his players last week that he stopped a training session to talk about it.
"It's not acceptable that you push your with all your heart when you have a cup competition and you go and deliver something like this today that should not be the normal routine‚" the coach said.
"I can't deny it‚ it was the same players [as against City]‚ same structure‚ same setup [3-5-2]‚ and what's missing?
"We had enough recovery time. There is no reason. I spoke about it during the week - I mentioned it several times. I know this squad‚ I know these players‚ and that we have a certain drama dynamic all the time.
“OK‚ it's unfortunately a little bit more work to do. But it's not really surprising for me. I know that something is missing to have a consistent successful run. I can see it. I see it every day.
"And I was aware about it. I said it on Thursday [to the media]‚ that‚ 'If we are not prepared to bring the same attitude [as against City] as players individually and as a team‚ we will not win this game'.
"You don't make that statement if you are convinced that everything is fine.
"And we made it internally too. We stopped training and we said guys‚ 'This is not what we can do. This is not how we can react and prepare ourselves for a game'."
Chiefs‚ who remain rooted in seventh place‚ are away against Black Leopards next at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.