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Middendorp hints at Castro and Nurkovic partnership at Kaizer Chiefs

13:35 GMT+3 21/10/2019
Leonardo Castro, Kaizer Chiefs, October 2018
The Serbian forward led the Amakhosi attack soon after his arrival in the off-season, relegating the Colombian marksman to the bench in the process

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp doesn't see why Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic cannot play together up front. 

The duo played together as Amakhosi came from a goal down to beat Cape Town City on penalties in the Telkom Knockout Cup although Nurkovic came on as a second-half substitute. 

Middendorp said while Nurkovic is an exceptional player, he couldn't risk him by throwing him into the starting line-up after being out for three weeks with a head injury. 

"I said it before, Samir is an exceptional player. He was out for three weeks, not really able to use his heading ability. He used it for the first time [against City]. We said 'Okay, you're not going to defend set-pieces. Stay away, go to the corner'. It's early enough," Middendorp told the media in Cape Town. 

The German mentor admitted he had a selection headache after Castro's hat-trick against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Shell Helix Cup last weekend, but he said it's difficult to keep the two strikers apart after Saturday's game against the Citizens.

"On the other side, Castro scored three goals in a fantastic 45 minutes last Saturday against Sundowns and it's difficult [to separate them] at the moment.

Asked if he would consider partnering the two strikers going forward, Middendorp said: "Why not? Why not?" 

The Glamour Boys visit Sundowns in their next league game this coming weekend, and it will be interesting to see if Middendorp will field both Castro and Nurkovic from the word go, especially after Bernard Parker's injury on Saturday.