Absa Premiership

Middendorp ecstatic after win

2014-04-22 12:38
Ernst Middendorp (File)

Johannesburg - Bloemfontein Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp hailed his charges' resolve and character as they held on to beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a Premiership match at the Free State Stadium on Monday.

Celtic were less fancied to come out with a result after they had gone through a three-match winless run and also taking on a resourceful, as well as highly experienced, Pirates team.

The Free State side are sixth on the Premiership log, equal with Pirates and Black Aces on 40 points.

"Let's be honest, with this budget and capacity here in Bloemfontein, to have the same points as Pirates and one point behind a team like SuperSport is unbelievable," Middendorp said.

"I think their budget is four or five times higher than ours and this is just incredible. I can't believe it either. I will make a copy of this league table for each and every room."

The Siwelele coach believed his charges could have scored more goals had it not been for wrong offside calls and poor movement in the final third.

"The only thing I can complain about is that we have to be a little smarter in our attacking movements not easily into the offside positions. I am doubting some [offside calls] but we have to work on it.

"I think it's a result of a fantastic individual work rate and the team as a whole."

Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic blamed the loss on a poor showing in the first half and lack of chances for his pair of strikers up front.

"From the first 45, there was just nothing for us, it was a bad first half," said Vermezovic.

"The second half was much better but we couldn't score. We played two strikers in the first and second half but they didn't shoot at goal.

"The second half was what I want from the players, in the first half they were too slow."

Vermezovic started with Thamsanqa Gabuza alongside Helder Pelembe up front, and in the second half he introduced Lennox Bacela and Kermit Erasmus, but Celtic denied them chances.

Vermezovic rued the absence of experienced and key players due to injuries and suspension.

"Oupa Manyisa is a very important player for us and also Happy Jele," he said.

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