Ernst Middendorp isn't getting ahead of himself in the Caf Confederations Cup. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG  Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp was full of praise for his players after a 3-0 win against a stubborn Madagascan side Elgeco Plus in a CAF Confederation Cup first round first-leg tie at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

“We played well but should have scored more goals,” he said. “The opponents were difficult to break down with their disciplined structured play.”

The return leg in Madagascar will take place on Saturday. 

“There were several changes that we effected during the game,” reflected Middendorp. “Philani was drafted in the fullback position as he understood what we required of him (Philani took Godfrey Walusimbi’s position after he was substituted by Siphelele Ntshangase). 

“We are just worried about Mario Booysen and Khama Billiat who came out with some niggles after the game. We have to monitor them carefully.”

In terms of progressing in the competition, “It is one game at the time,” said Middendorp, “I really don’t know what will happen in the next match, safe to say we are going back to the training ground to recoup and prepare for the trip to Madagascar next week.”

Middendorp responded to the sporadic jeers directed at Castro. “Castro is a goal-scorer and not an entertainer,” he said. 

“Thankfully he delivered two goals to give us a good aggregate score going away to play in Madagascar. The supporters need to understand the roles of each player.”

Regarding his arrival and reception on his return to Amakhosi, “it is not a one-man show,” reinforced Middendorp. “We are working on relations as a collective and everybody has a role to play. We are managing well so far with two back-to-back wins.”

Middendorp’s arrival has resulted in two consecutive clean sheets and four goals scored, “I wish to have had an opportunity to see Kgotso Moleko again after his performance midweek against SuperSport United,” said Middendorp. 

“We utilised the options we had and I’m glad we didn’t concede at home.”

Moleko is not registered for CAF games.

Against SuperSport on Wednesday Booysen partnered Daniel Cardoso and on Saturday night Booysen adapted well to partner with Teenage Hadebe. 

“I am glad we have options,” said Middendorp before responding to the question about some possible movements during the January transfer window. "You have to keep your eye on the market every day in case a special player becomes available. 

"At Chiefs if there’s a talent that’s available and willing to join us, we will definitely look at that.

“We are looking forward to the trip to Madagascar. We anticipate a tough game, but we will give it a go. We will do our utmost to proceed to the play-offs,” added Middendorp. 

African News Agency (ANA)