Steve Komphela has offered his sympathies to German coach Ernst Middendorp for the manner in which he parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs.
Middendorp was relieved of his duties at The Village after missing out on the Absa Premiership title to Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Phefeni Glamour Boys sat on top of the standings for the better part of the season, only to lose it to Sundowns on the last day of the league campaign after drawing 1-1 with Baroka FC.
Komphela has hailed the German coach for the character he portrayed even though his tenure as coach ended on a disappointingly sour note.
"They were almost there. It was just a matter of 30 minutes and I felt so sorry for Ernst Middendorp. Our job is a thankless job," Komphela said during a Carling Black Label event in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
"I felt so sorry for Ernst because who could ever go through that? You're on top of the log for the whole season, convincingly so, you have a gap of double digits, with 30 minutes to go, and then you lose it.
"My man, I still respect him for the strength he portrayed. But listen, it's part of the game. It could have happened to anyone."
Meanwhile, the former Chiefs coach has congratulated Gavin Hunt for landing one of the top coaching jobs in South Africa.
"Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Gavin Hunt and wish him all the best. A very close friend of mine, make no mistake," he added.
"I don't think, with utmost respect to all available coaches in the country, I don't think there is anyone more deserving. He deserves the shot as well. He has the pedigree."
See where Komphela and Middendorp rank statistically against past Amakhosi coaches