Ernst: Chiefs fans are smart
Chiefs last earned silverware when they won the 2014/2015 league title.
But enter the 2019/2020 campaign, German coach Ernst Middendorp’s charges sit atop the Premiership standings and are in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.
However, with the league campaign in its final stretch Chiefs’ mettle will be tested. Their response has been lukewarm - winning one match, drawing one and losing one in their last three outings. Middendorp, however, reminded the football fraternity how they’ve punched above their weight.
“Supporters are very smart. They are aware about it. They know what they went through in the last five years. Everyone should be happy to be in a challenging situation - especially being able to go into March (where the team could have potentially done enough) to win the championship, something that they hadn’t experienced over five years,” Middendorp explained.
“Everybody should really be supportive of every moment, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cup game, away or at home. The fans know exactly what’s at stake, what’s been achieved so far. We have smart and intelligent supporters on Chiefs’ side.”
Middendorp says he is confident @KaizerChiefs will have the full support of the Amakhosi faithful for the remainder of the season. #NedbankCup2020 #AbsaPremiership.— IOL Sport (@IOLsport) February 19, 2020
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Chiefs’ lead is narrowing weekly as continental competition participants Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns make the most of their games in hand.
Middendorp says he’s not overwhelmed that the chasing pack are making the race interesting.
“Your discussion about an 11-point (lead) was always rubbish! Sorry, it was always rubbish! A team like Bidvest Wits was always going to be closer because in September they were games behind,” Middendorp said.
“If they won all their games, they weren’t always going to be behind but on the same points. Now if they win the remaining games, they’ll be three-four points behind. I never got carried away, actually.”