Cape Town - Bloemfontein Celtic chairperson Max Tshabalala has given his backing to head coach Ernst Middendorp, despite a difficult start to the season.
Read: Middendorp to be sacked?
Phunya Sele Sele have registered just one win in the Premiership so far this season and, on Saturday, October 4 were eliminated in the first round of the Telkom Knockout by a struggling AmaZulu outfit.
The weekend's defeat led to intense speculation that Middendorp would be relieved of his duties and replaced by Clinton Larsen, a move that Tshabalala denies is in the pipeline.
"People are speculating with our coach. Clinton is employed at Roses United, our feeder team. Clinton is not waiting for anyone's job. He is doing well with Roses," said Tshabalala.
"Middendorp gave me his plan and I bought into it. He told me he wanted attacking players, but we did not have attacking players. Now we have managed to get some players. We got Lethola Mofokeng, Mukuka Mulenga and Jacky Motshegwa. They are all attacking players. I cannot fire the coach before I give him a chance to work with the players we have got for him now."
However, Tshabalala added that he has told Middendorp to control his temper, with the German said to be putting his players under unnecessary pressure with his angry rants.
"We had a meeting with the coach about his temper. We told him that this is South Africa and we live in the spirit of ubuntu. We told him that he is putting the team under pressure," explained Tshabalala.
"He apologised and said he will work on his temper and you will see the change in the coming matches. He has to respect the players and they will also respect him."
Meanwhile the Celtic will return to action on Saturday, October 19 against Polokwane City at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium in a PSL encounter. Kick-off is at 15:30.