Ernst Middendorp: No team is safe on 30 points

Ernst Middendorp: No team is safe on 30 points

Following a crucial 1-0 victory over Richards Bay on Friday night, Swallows FC coach Ernst Middendorp believes clubs in the relegation dogfight will need more than 30 points to survive.

The Dube Birds have now collected 21 points from 19 matches, but are far from being out of the woods even though bottom-placed side Marumo Gallants appear worse off.

Middendorp isn’t getting carried away with the win over the Natal Rich Boys.

"I said Sundowns will be 20 points in front at the end of the season, I will repeat it again and again. I think I said it four-and-a-half weeks ago, you can quote me again," Middendorp told journalists after the match.

"The same [thing] that I'm saying now, believe me, 30 points for position 14/13 is not enough this season, you need more. If you think now, just because you have one win on our side, or Stellenbosch last week or Maritzburg, or whatever, and you think you are out of the drop zone, sorry.

"If you are staying at the moment in position seven or eight, and you have 24 points, and you think you are in the paradise of the league, good night."

Swallows clinched what was only their fifth win of the season against second-placed Richards Bay, thanks to a headed goal from striker Kagiso Malinga in the 81st minute, and the German tactician admits the game wasn’t easy on the eye.

"Let's be honest, the first half was crap. Let's not think about [sugar-coating]. We played a good game for 45 minutes, I was absolutely terrified to see our ball possession work that we've been doing now for weeks during training sessions, it's much better," he added.

"I have no explanation at this moment to see why I can say, ok, it's stressful to stand in position 15 and you know you have to win, [while] you see the other teams are moving ahead and you have only one chance."