Middendorp defends decision to bench Katsande

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Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs
  • Post published:February 11, 2019

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has insisted that no one at the club is guaranteed a start after leaving Willard Katsande on the bench for the Soweto derby.

The Chiefs midfielder was surprisingly named on the bench for the titanic battle at the FNB Stadium.

The Zimbabwean was eventually brought on with 25 minutes to play in the Soweto derby as the Amakhosi looked to hold on to a slender 1-0 lead after Daniel Cardoso converted a penalty in the 53rd minute.

Pirates, however, hit back through Thembinkhosi Lorch in the 80th minute and the game went on to end in a draw.

During the post-match press conference Middendorp hit back at a question about his decision not to start the experienced midfielder in such a big game.

‘I really don’t understand this issue. I really don’t understand,’ said the German coach.

‘We played against AmaZulu and Khama Billiat was on the bench, Katsande played that game and today Katsande is on the bench and next week I don’t know maybe Leonardo (Castro).

‘What I want to make sure and regular, and know that when you are in a team where is it written in a contact that the player is guaranteed to start.

‘You have seen the first half and I think there were three tactical sessions (changes) during the first half from the other side (Pirates). So, it looks like we have done something right without Katsande.

‘I think we really need to understand this that there is no guarantee for anybody, it’s about performance and really going into it.

‘I say it all the time that all players are equal, but some players are more equal, and in this moment who is more equal is the decision of the technical team during the week preparing for this game.

‘We had a very good impression that the different direction we were taking in setting up would probably work and I think it worked very well, in the first half in particular,’ concluded Middendorp.