Reports & Previews

Middendorp: We were forced to change

Ernst Middendorp says Kaizer Chiefs had to alter their style of play during the currently suspended Premier Soccer League season as teams started to figure them out.

Amakhosi entered the enforced break, as a result of the coronavirus, on top of the PSL standings, four points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns.

They were seemingly on course for their first league title since 2014 although no one was ruling out Downs from retaining their status as last season's champions.

Middendorp has used his spare time to analyse Amakhosi’s matches as well as individual performances.

Speaking to the Sowetan, he said: "We have lost games that we were not meant to lose. We have analysed what the opponent has seen in us and accordingly we have been looking at variations of our gameplan going into our next match.

"For example‚ at times we achieved 80 percent of ball possession‚ but this didn’t always result in a positive result. So maybe we should look at having 60 percent of ball possession and use that time better to create the possibility of winning the match.

"In my discussions with [former Bafana Bafana international and New York Red Bulls assistant-coach] Bradley Carnell about systems‚ he shared some of the dynamics they experienced.

"For example‚ when you play in a certain way‚ the opponents will at some stage understand your system‚ which means that you are forced to change. You always need to be able to adapt as a team to new circumstances.

"I found these discussions interesting because as a leading team in the league‚ most teams started to understand our play‚ and hence we had to start varying our approach."