How Middendorp called Rhulani's bluff


Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp at one stage during their press conference called Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena’s bluff and was quick to call him to order.

The exchange between the two coaches following Saturday’s Absa Premiership Soweto Derby was so heated that they even engaged in a dialogue without provocation from the media.

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While the “thuggish behaviour” argument dominated the narrative, there was in fact a moment when Middendorp interjected in order to raise a point of contention on a statement made by Mokwena regarding the rebuilding of his Pirates squad.

“We understand the process and we understand what happened with our team. We know why we are where we are,” said Mokwena.

“We know the transition that took place, and we know at the beginning of the season we unfortunately had to make a face lift on the squad.

“When you do that, and you unfortunately have to let go of 15 players and bring in 10 players, of course there’s an adaptation that needs to take place.”

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The German then responded: “Can I just add something? I think actually, just to add some numbers in, we released 18 players and we brought in only five [this season]. Adaption question now – what is more difficult? What is easier?”

This was in reference to the quick turnaround Amakhosi have managed, which sees them lead the log standings after 11 games, compared to The Buccaneers being in ninth position at the same stage of their campaign.

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