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
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
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
"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.