Spurs keen to bounce back from defeat

Ernst Middendorp. | BackpagePix

Ernst Middendorp. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 3, 2024

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HERMAN GIBBS

Cape Town Spurs are trying to shrug off a disappointing defeat as they turn their attention to today’s DStv Premiership clash against hosts Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).

Embattled Spurs have been going along swimmingly of later until they suffered a setback on Sunday when they allowed visitors Moroka Swallows to score a goal in the dying minutes of their match at Athlone.

Ernst Middendorp. | BackpagePix

It happened on a day when the 16th-placed Spurs, with 12 points, were ideally placed to move off the bottom of the Premiership table for the first time this season. The previous day, the 15th-placed Richards Bay, with 14 points, suffered defeat against Golden Arrows, and Spurs needed a win to leapfrog the struggling KwaZulu-Natal side on the log.

Spurs coach Ernst Middendorp wants to move on and do better this evening against Chippa.

“So good, let’s now regroup and address it properly, knowing that it (our relegation fate) will not be decided on Wednesday or next week, at the beginning of April,” said Middendorp.

“We know we have a young team. This type of game (where teams are under pressure) is very difficult for every team, not only for us, but for a younger team, it’s even more difficult.

“We know what we are capable of. We know our strengths in a transition game or in progressing, passing in alignment with progressive runs. We know it, we have the pace, we have the structure for it.

“We have a certain identity and, okay, we know it’s a different game – it’s a home game for Chippa – so in this direction, we’ll see.”

Middendorp will be looking for his side to produce more feeds into the opposition box as Spurs try to unlock their full potential. Equally, he wants the team to respond effectively when their opponents set off on attacking sorties.

“We were not stopping the opponents with tactical fouls. We just let them go and we lacked experience to keep them out,” said Middendorp.

“We could’ve used a bit of a bonus against Swallows, but for us, it’s crucial to be as quick as possible and try to find our way forward.

“We need to be focused and do the right stuff, be more professional, be more experienced in certain moments.”

Ashley Cupido of Cape Town Spurs leaves dejected after defeat to Moroka Swallows. | BackpagePix
Moroka Swallows celebrate the late winner scored by Gabadinho Mhango against the Urban Warriors. | BackpagePix

Chippa are in 14th position on the log with 23 points. They lost their last league fixture to Polokwane City at the weekend and were beaten 2-0 by leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in early March.

The Chilli Boys’ last win in the DStv Premiership came in March as well, when they beat Richards Bay 3-0 at home. However, Chippa co-coach Thabo September is optimistic that better results will come in time.

“We are doing well. This is our second loss in (the last) five games in the league,” said September. “So, we collected five points, (but) it’s going to pick up …

“The support that we get from the management and the chairman and the players has been good. So, we want to do well in the remaining games.”

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