Ernst Middendorp will be expected to do well against Sundowns. Photo: BackpagePix
Former Kaizer Chiefs captain Cyril Nzama describes Ernst Middendorp as a good coach but believes he will really be put to the test today against Mamelodi Sundowns in a Premiership tussle at FNB Stadium (3.30pm kick-off).

Nzama captained Amakhosi under the tenure of Middendorp during his first spell with the Glamour Boys.

Middendorp has yet to taste defeat since taking over the coaching reins from the Italian, Giovanni Solinas, at Amakhosi.

Nzama doesn’t doubt Middendorp's credentials, but thinks the game against Sundowns this afternoon will be a huge challenge for the German.

“Ernst is quite good - I’ll concede that. Under him, I was one of his captains. I know him very well. We won two cups under his tenure at Chiefs,” Nzama said.

Amakhosi are set to face the Brazilians without the services of Itumeleng Khune who is still injured, and Virgil Vries will slot in for him. Chiefs are yet to concede a goal under Middendorp, which is a positive sign for a side that struggled at the start of the season.

“He is a good coach but you know in big clubs there’s always pressure and there’s no time to settle. Winning cups is not enough at Chiefs if you don’t win the league,” Nzama added.

Sundowns are fifth on the log with Chiefs sixth and they are separated by just one point although Downs have played three games fewer than Chiefs. But, as they say, games in hand are not necessarily points in the bag. So, Sundowns still need to get out there and make those games in hand count. They are eight points behind leaders Wits and Chiefs are nine back. Clearly, both sides need to quickly make some inroads in the title race.

“I don’t think we should put too much pressure on Middendorp,” says Nzama. “He was given two and half years. So far, he has started very well and won all his games. And I believe he’ll continue to do well with Chiefs. But now the big test is Sundowns.”

Chiefs will be looking to become the first team to beat Sundowns in the league this season.

Brazilians have 5 wins and 7 draws from 12 matches played.

@minenhlecr7 Independent on Saturday