Mid-season break what relegation haunted Spurs needed

football16 February 2024 11:30| © Backpage TXT
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Ernst Middendorp @ Gallo Images

Cape Town Spurs coach Ernst Middendorp says the mid-season break is just the tonic that his club needed as he seeks to try and save them from relegation from the DStv Premiership.

Middendorp took over at Spurs in November but in his five games in charge has been able to garner only one point for the club, losing four matches.

Their paltry tally of four points from 16 games leaves them 14 points from safety with a massive uphill struggle to come.

“This break for the Cup of Nations, if you include the postponed matches from midweek, is now six weeks and in six weeks, like in a pre-season, you can do a lot,” the veteran German coach told his club’s YouTube channel.

“You can learn what the players can deliver, what a player is capable of, whether he wants to contribute with his full heart for the club. Yes, I think it was a very, very useful time.

“Also, to work on the team chemistry. That’s also important because it is not only the individual talent and skills, but it has to be a combination. Chemistry is crucial if you want to be successful at the end of the day.”

Spurs resume their campaign with a home game on Saturday against AmaZulu at the Athlone Stadium.

“My main focus is the club environment, there are a lot of challenges and a lot of issues to sort but I’m very happy about it. I’m looking for a solutions to move the club in the right direction.”

Middendorp says he is reveling in the challenge of saving Spurs.

“In August, I celebrated 30 years in this business as a professional coach. I have been at a number of clubs who were really not in a good position. Sometimes even clubs under administration. They were in trouble in mid-season facing relegation. These were clubs in the Bundesliga, in China and also in the Premier League here. I like these challenges. I would say it is not the same instinct when you are in charge of a team chasing for the title or a cup trophy or promotion, which I have done a number of times. But this is something where you really can put your creativity in terms of finding a solution and this is what I like.”