Middendorp cites fatigue as Chiefs crash out of CAF tournament

2019-01-21 07:50
Ernst Middendorp
Ernst Middendorp (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp blamed fatigue as he saw side crash out of the CAF Confederation Cup to Zambian side Zesco United on Saturday night.

Chiefs suffered a 2-1 defeat at FNB Stadium in the second-leg as United cruised to a 5-2 aggregate win in the continental competition.

Middendorp lamented the fact his team had played five games in the space of 15 days this month and said he could just not get the "freshness" required from his players for the crunch encounter.

The Chiefs mentor said in a TV interview with Supersport after the game: "First of all compliments to Zesco. They deserve to qualify. We were not able to get the freshness in. We had our first game on the 5th of January.

"Now today is the 20th is 15 days and that means it's five games in 15 days. I don't have to explain it and if you want to compete with the champions of other countries (we've to prepare better.

"In the first game away, we had to do a very intensive game against Bidvest (Wits). We won it. We went all out. Now here we are again we have to play another intensive game in Durban against AmaZulu, we won it."

Middendorp continued: "But I have seen the players in both games first game away and today's game three days later after another intensive game we haven't been able to get the freshness in.

"You need one or two days off, like the fantastic performance in the AmaZulu game. It was a fantastic performance against Bidvest Wits. It's not that the players are not capable but just the result of these intensive games these players have to come up and play."

Middendorp said that South African teams will always suffer in CAF tournaments due to the congested fixture list.

The Chiefs coach continued: "We have to think about this in South Africa that if we really want to qualify our teams for the international business.

"You have to give your team a break to prepare and to be fresh to go into this competition, but not in this way we have just experienced just now."

Chiefs will now turn their focus to their upcoming encounter in the Nedbank Cup against Tornado FC next weekend.


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