Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs
Monday Jan 21, 2019. 13:00
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp says his side lacked the “freshness” to compete on an even footing with Zambia’s Zesco United.
The South African giants were beaten 2-1 at home by Zesco in the return leg of their CAF Confederation Cup playoff round tie on Saturday, exiting the continental competition 5-2 on aggregate.
Middendorp bemoaned his team’s busy schedule, with the Amakhosi having played midweek Absa Premiership matches prior to both of their encounters with the Zambians.
“First of all compliment to Zesco. I think both games (they were good) six points. It was very clear. They deserve to qualify. We were not able to get the freshness in. We had our first game on the 5th of January," Middendorp told SuperSport after the match.
“Now today is the 20th is 15 days and that means it's five games in 15 days. I don’t have to explain it and if you want to compete with the champions of other countries (we’ve got to have more time to prepare).
“First game away we had to do a very intensive game against Bidvest [Wits]. We won it. We went all out. Now here we are again we have to play another intensive game in Durban against AmaZulu, we won it.
“But I have seen the players in both games first game away and today’s game three days later after another intensive game we haven’t been able to get the freshness in."
Kaizer Chiefs will be back in action on Sunday 27 January when they face lower-league opponents Tornado FC in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup.