It would seem as though reserve goalkeeper Virgil Vries’ days are numbered between the sticks as a notably irked Middendorp refused to defend the error made against Cape Town City on Wednesday evening.
Chiefs succumbed to a 1-0 defeat despite enjoying a substantial amount of clear-cut chances but were once again let down by poor finishing and decision-making in the final third.
However, Vries then made a complete mess of what should have been a routine catch off a floated free-kick into his area and allowed City defender Edmilson Dove to tap in with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Efforts to find the equaliser with The Citizens having been reduced to 10 men proved futile for Amakhosi, who subsequently remain in fifth position on the Absa Premiership standings – trailing leaders Bidvest Wits by seven points, with 12 games remaining.
This also led to boos towards the Namibian international after the final whistle, and Middendorp was fully accepting of the supporters’ distaste, as he hinted at a change in their next match, which is the Soweto Derby.
“I fully understand the facts, I’m not an idiot. You need [proper] goalkeeping of course, if you’re not scoring, to get a 0-0 [result],” said Middendorp.
“I’m not sitting here and [defending the mistake], of course I’m not happy with it. It’s happened now for the second time, what must we say?
“We have to work it out in the next 10 days and see who is in the goalpost in the next Saturday [against Orlando Pirates].
“It’s nice to protect players, which is what we are doing, but on the other hand you must be capable. It was an easy punch, an easy way to handle this and that’s it.
“I’m not going to sit here and put a frame on it, ‘Oh my god, no, unlucky’ and so on. Of course, we didn’t score in the front, but can you not solve this problem at the back in this moment?”
He continued: “I’m definitely facing the facts, and I fully understand that at a certain point the supporters are unhappy, there’s no doubt about it.
“It’s not to throw somebody under the bus, we lost as a team and we’ll definitely face it in a clear way – we have to design a training programme to look into it.
“The first issue is – not just tonight but Sunday [against Tornado FC] too, I don’t know how many clear opportunities we had and it’s not by accident, but meanwhile we then kick the ball into our own net. [Note: Goal was scored by Dove]
“These are the facts we need to face, we can’t say, ‘The wall is white, or we can make it grey’ and discuss around it – no!
“There was a very clear mistake, it was very clearly not the proper action in the moment, and it should not happen, especially not on this level.”