Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp defends under-fire hitman Leonardo Castro

Amakhosi recently claimed a three goal advantage as they head into the return leg next week

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has given his backing to Leonardo Castro after the Colombian came under-fire from fans for missing several golden chances against Elgeco Plus.

The Colombian though was still able to grab a brace alongside Philani Zulu’s early strike as Amakhosi gave their chances of progression in the Caf Confederation Cup a major boost.

Nonetheless, it was Middendorp’s second consecutive game in charge and second win on the trot, and the German-born tactician was happy with the win considering their preparations for the clash.

“You had two-and-a-half days a game and travelled from Nelspruit to Johannesburg and then from Johannesburg to Durban. Of course, a professional player should be able to handle it, but with the circumstances we are in at the moment, I think it was a very clear pragmatic structured game, and in the end with the deserved three goals” Middendorp told SuperSport TV after the game.

"It did look a little bit flat, not really in the right direction where you could have expected but then you see players with the quality of Lebo, Leo Castro and excellent. Its fine,” he said.

“He (Castro) is not a dribbler or entertainer, he is a scorer and I think he deserves every second of support from all of us, and with a result, I think we have a good base going into the next game," he explained.

Ahead of the clash, Middendorp was forced to tinker with his starting XI due to injuries and unavailability of players, and while the 3-0 lead will allow the Glamour Boys to breathe a little easier, the former Maritzburg United will now sweat over the fitness of some of his key players ahead of the second leg.   

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“In the moment, it’s important for us to see the next few days. We had a problem with Mario Booysen. We had a problem with Khama [Billiat], a massive problem. A little of bit tweaking here and there.” He said.

 “We have to sort it out now, we have a week, which is good and then off to Madagascar. I’m quite confident that we will make it to the next round,” he concluded.