Middendorp Issues Sundowns Warning
Maritzburg United head coach Ernst Middendorp has issued a stern warning ahead of the DStv Premiership season that teams can’t fear champions Mamelodi Sundowns if they want to stop their league domination.
Middendorp was speaking to iDiski Times writer Velile Mnyandu this week at the competition’s launch, and the German coach said while it’s important to respect Sundowns, if teams are going to challenge for the league, they cannot fear them.
He says too often when teams play against Sundowns, it’s a case of trying to hold them, rather than challenge them, and that mentality has to change.
“I think in the moment in the entire league, there’s nothing wrong with it to show respect, but it cannot go so far, and we have to change this, we have to change this as teams, the other 15 teams, it doesn’t matter which team it is,” Middendorp said.
“You have to believe you can be competitive, you can win, you can play at home or away, you can compete with Sundowns.
“In the moment or in the near past, what I observe is, if you play Sundowns, it’s only don’t score, don’t concede too much. And this, this being afraid, this fear that they will run away, that has to change. You have to change your mentality, you have to change to be competitive.
“And I think this is something a number of teams, I’m not talking about Maritzburg United, but a number of teams starting with SuperSport, starting with Kaizer Chiefs, going to Orlando Pirates, going probably to Golden Arrows, AmaZulu.
“They should really believe, this six, seven teams, to really be competitive with Sundowns. It has to change, it has to be mentioned, It’s a nice team, is a nice fantastic set up, they have enormous quality as a team, and as an individual, there’s no doubt about it.
“But it you go already into a game and said, oh, oh sorry, sorry sorry, we play Sundowns, let’s go and find the way home. That can’t be the mentality.”