Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has hinted that he could drop Virgil Vries for the Soweto derby after the keeper made another costly mistake.
Vries has been deputising for the injured Itumeleng Khune, and Middendorp has defended the Namibian shot-stopper after he made costly errors against Mamelodi Sundowns and Zesco United earlier this year.
The German coach, however, seems to have reached a tipping point with his player, as he pulled no punches in his post-match presser after another Vries error handed Cape Town City a 1-0 win in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday.
Vries came for a floated free kick, but failed to hold on to it as the ball fell to City defender Edmilson Dove, who had a tap-in to secure the points in the 79th minute.
The Amakhosi faithful showed their displeasure at the keeper’s error after the game, directing boos at Vries, and Middendorp admitted that he understands their frustration.
‘I fully understand the facts, I’m not an idiot. You need [proper] goalkeeping of course, if you’re not scoring, to get a 0-0 [result],’ said Middendorp.
‘I’m not sitting here and [defending the mistake], of course I’m not happy with it. It’s happened now for the second time, what must we say?
‘We have to work it out in the next 10 days and see who is in the goalpost in the next Saturday [against Orlando Pirates].
‘It’s nice to protect players, which is what we are doing, but on the other hand you must be capable. It was an easy punch, an easy way to handle this, and that’s it.
‘I’m not going to sit here and put a frame on it, ”Oh my god, no, unlucky” and so on. Of course we didn’t score in the front, but can you not solve this problem at the back in this moment?’
‘I’m definitely facing the facts, and I fully understand that at a certain point the supporters are unhappy, there’s no doubt about it.
‘It’s not to throw somebody under the bus, we lost as a team and we’ll definitely face it in a clear way – we have to design a training programme to look into it.’
The German also admitted that his side’s inability to put the ball into the back of the net has proved costly more than once since his arrival.
‘The first issue is – not just tonight, but Sunday [against Tornado FC] too, I don’t know how many clear opportunities we had and it’s not by accident, but meanwhile we then kick the ball into our own net. [Note: Goal was scored by Dove],’ he added.
‘These are the facts we need to face, we can’t say, ‘The wall is white, or we can make it grey’ and discuss around it – no.
‘There was a very clear mistake, it was very clearly not the proper action in the moment, and it should not happen, especially not on this level.’
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