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Middendorp Laments ‘Donations’

Cape Town Spurs coach Ernst Middendorp was left frustrated after they suffered another defeat, losing 3-0 to Stellenbosch on Tuesday night.

Spurs are currently glued to the bottom of the DStv Premiership table, having lost 12 of their 13 matches. This was Middendorp’s second game in charge, and second straight defeat, since taking over the hot seat earlier this month.

However for much of the first half, and even going into the second 45, Spurs were in the game, and competing with their opponents. However once Steve Barker’s team grabbed the second, it was Stellenbosch who in control and they added a third and could’ve scored more.

Middendorp was frustrated because his team had ‘donated’ goals to Stellenbosch, and felt the less said about his team’s performance in the last twenty minutes, the better.

“Ja, it’s, of course, I would say a little bit, comparing with the first game on Saturday, and now three days later, it’s a bit of a similar movie,” Middendorp said summing the game up. 

“I think if you put a resume together from the first half today, it could have been 0-0, it could have been 1-1, it could have been 1-0 in front on our side. 

“Realistically, from the start of the second half, to try to change, to chase the game, up to the 60 minutes, 15, 16, 17 or up to 20 minutes into the second half, you’re not coming through, then of course a typical situation also the same time, is donating, not only today also on Saturday, the first goal, it’s a donation, it’s impossible. 

“You pass the ball into the opponent’s half and the pass was absolutely one of the best probably you will see, through the channel, into the middle and the opponent can score immediately. 

“This is something where you ask, we talk now since 10 days, forward, keep the possession in particular when you’re in the front, in the opponent’s half, turn around to work with a second touch. Forward is definitely a word what is not too much is in the muscle memories of the players. 

“Ja, then you get similar, 64 I think today, probably on Saturday 63, you get in this period, a second goal. Also, today, and on Saturday is definitely not a goal that you can concede it’s one against one, it’s simple, easy. The cross is coming in, but you must be prepared centrally. 

“The difference today was the frustration was definitely then something, what we have seen in the last 15, 20 minutes. Ja, you can see on one side a unified team, where really everybody’s contributing to a team performance. And on the other side, there were just 10 players, with a goalkeeper on the field, just hoping that it comes to an end. 

“It was definitely not a unified team to really show the character, as you have to show it, when you want to stay in the PSL. 

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“Other the last 20 minutes, probably it’s definitely something where you also have to address it in a proper way, probably a little bit deeper. Let’s see, the one against one mentality in general, is not only in the front, where you have to be more successful, it’s in the midfield moments. Also in a defensive one against one, it’s too naive.  

“Some periods equal, but in certain moment, it is falling apart. And then in this moment, you can see that the character in the moment of the team is not the best.”

When asked about the way Spurs lost structure in the closing minutes, Middendorp was forthright.

“This is definitely nothing what you can be proud of,” Middendorp said. 

“It’s absolutely a disaster, it’s definitely embarrassing, there’s no doubt about it, the last final 20 minutes, how we presented ourselves there. 

“But then of course, nobody’s talking about the 60 minutes before, the first half, or where you had possibilities and looked quite equal. 

“This is this part of the game, yes.”

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.