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​Middendorp continues to make Kaizer Chiefs doubters eat humble pie

23:11 GMT+3 20/10/2019
Ernst Middendorp Kaizer Chiefs December 2018
Amakhosi were heavily criticised for bringing back the German mentor and sticking to the decision this season, but almost everyone is happy with him

Kaizer Chiefs once again edged Cape Town City, albeit via a penalty shoot-out to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout Cup.

It was an exciting game from the word go and fans around the country got value for their money as both teams attacked each other until the end.

The Citizens gave Chiefs a scare in the first half, especially after Daniel Cardoso's missed penalty and a Kermit Erasmus goal in the 34th minute.

At one stage, City appeared to be home and dry, but the pendulum swung in Chiefs' favour as soon as Ernst Middendorp changed things around and Samir Nurkovic broke the hearts of the home fans with that 84th-minute half-volley to send the game to extra time.

Middendorp had many of his doubters calling for his head at the end of the last season and soon before the commencement of the current one.

However, he continues to make them eat humble pie as Chiefs have hardly disappointed under his watch thus far.

The German mentor has lost just once this season, and his team is playing entertaining football even without their key players - they still get positive results.

For a coach who was accused of boring tactics and failure to get the best out of his players, Middendorp has won his enemies over. 

He has already accepted that he's not popular among the majority of Amakhosi fans, and he is surely giving as much as he's receiving from them as his team is performing week in and week out. 

The players are also working for Middendorp which is an added advantage in his efforts to silence those who questioned his ability as a coach, especially at a big team like Chiefs. 

While the majority may be surprised to see Middendorp's team at the summit of the table after eight league games, the truth is that it shouldn't be surprising to see Chiefs do well in Cup competitions. 

This was evident enough last season as the Soweto giants went all the way to the Nedbank Cup final in Middendorp's first full competition in charge. 

And beating Cape Town City, even though it was through the penalties, shouldn't be a concern to the supporters because Middendorp is making magic with the current squad. 

There is a clear game-plan in each and every game Chiefs play - and this could mean one thing - Middendorp and his technical team are doing their most in analysing their opponents ahead of every game and the results are there for everyone to see. 

Now, while the team continues to gel and grind out results, Middendorp shouldn't relax and the players have no reason to slow down because Chiefs have not achieved anything as yet; they can relax if they win something major this season - of course, the big one being the league title.   

But thus far, Middendorp has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he's still the right man for the job and what he needs from the club fans is their undying support for the team to continue to prosper and bring smiles on their faces this term.