Shots fired - Chiefs are actually the in-form team, says Fadlu
JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates’ technical team, led by coach Josef Zinnbauer and his assistant Fadlu Davids, know a great detail about Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp - but at different levels.
Zinnbauer and Middendorp got their qualifications from the same place in Germany, while Davids’ coaching career was launched by Middendorp who he worked with at Maritzburg United. However, friendships will be put aside in the Soweto derby at FNB Stadium on Saturday. On paper, Pirates are the favourites as they have the momentum and better run, but Davids disagrees with that assessment.
“You have to zoom out and look at the bigger picture,” Davids said. “Chiefs are actually the in-form team. They have lost just one game recently, and before that they had lost to SuperSport (United). They have been pretty much consistent throughout the season, hence their position. The other hand is do you really read into form when it comes to a derby like this? I don’t think so. Their coach is experienced enough to be calm this week. His players will pick up if there is any change in him.
“I know him quite well, he will be calm and will approach the game as a normal game and not reading too much into what is being said outside. I expect them at full strength and firing, playing into their strength. We for one second aren’t going to underestimate Kaizer Chiefs because they just lost in the Cup. They are a team that’s on top of the log and we are a team that’s picking up form just now.”
The theme of Saturday’s derby is the battle of the Germans, but underneath that is the battle for the PSL title with both teams chasing glory to end lengthy trophy droughts.
Chiefs occupy first place, six points ahead of Pirates who have played one game more. Saturday’s match will go a long way in deciding where the championship goes as the loser will not only face the psychological pressure of losing to their rivals, but it would also put a dent in their title ambitions.
The pressure on these coaches is different. For Zinnbauer it is about winning his first Soweto derby and for Middendorp it’s about maintaining Chiefs’ good start.
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