Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp explains why Willard Katsande was benched against Orlando Pirates

The German coach says all his players must work to deserve a place in his starting XI

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has explained his decision to bench midfielder Willard Katsande against Orlando Pirates on Saturday afternoon, revealing that all his players will start based on performance.

The Amakhosi mentor also benched striker Khama Billiat against AmaZulu, and says that no player has the right to walk into the starting XI.

“Khama Billiat was on the bench against AmaZulu. Katsande was on the bench (in the Derby) and there is no contract that a player must always start,” Middendorp told the media.

“It's normal. Players will start on the bench. There is no guarantee for anybody. It’s about performance,” explained the Chiefs coach.

Furthermore, Middendorp has singled out Hendrick Ekstein as a player who can take the club forward but admits that age is no longer on his side.

“Players need game time over a long period. Training in the week to get it right and he's an outstanding player,” continued the coach.

“He's (Ekstein) not a youngster anymore. He can carry a team forward with his ideas. It happens, but what can we do? We could have corrected,” he said.

Since taking over at Chiefs, Middendorp has shown that he is not scared to field youngsters. Against Pirates, the 60-year-old fielded Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya and Happy Mashiane, who both came through the Glamour Boys' ranks. 

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”I hate talking about promoting players at a certain time. We don't promote to add numbers. Ntiya-Ntiya is now happy and he's a regular part of the team," he reacted.

“We have to watch these guys. Sometimes 45 minutes is enough, or 60. Put them in, but this game is intensive,” concluded the coach.

Meanwhile, the Soweto giants will now turn their focus on their upcoming Nedbank Cup Last 16 match against Magic FC next weekend.