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DStv Premiership

Middendorp Explains New Role For Ex-Chiefs Man

Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp has explained why he opted to field Keegan Ritchie at right-back, and also addressed the new partnership between Alfred Ndengane and Phumlani Ntshangase.

The Team of Choice lost 1-0 in the DStv Premiership outing after Bernard Parker’s second-half strike.

Ritchie, a natural left-back that has played in central midfield in the past, was fielded on the opposite flank against his former club Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday evening at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“Yeah of course we know these opponents, and it’s a bit of this inverted full-back. We did it more than less with both, with Nazeer (Allie) and Keegan, and we trained it,” he said after the game.

“I think it’s quite a good option, you are closer in terms of your passing options, in terms of your central closing what we wanted to do. But not only defensively, you have good options with the right moment to find the right way for the passing.

“But you need teammates who are doing the runs, who are doing the movement into this direction. We have done it for the first time.

“Keegan played his first game with us. Good it is definitely something to look for the centre-back pairing Phumlani with Alfred, meaning you can see we are still with a number of new players, we still try to put ourselves in the right shape. But as I said, our biggest issue at the moment is our attacking.”

Though the German coach says he was very proud of his team’s display, he was also concerned about their finishing, saying they have to look at a few aspects to win the games.

“Our problem is definitely the entrance into the final third and to make the right decision. Sometimes we are going for glory, not seeing our teammate, sometimes we are rushing,” Middendorp added.

“I think we have to improve in this direction from the defensive side, from the compact situation, from putting the trigger in the right moment. I also think so far we are on a good way, but we still have our issues, challenges in the final third.”

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