Saving Swallows topflight status Middendorp’s priority

Saving Swallows topflight status Middendorp’s priority

Swallows FC coach Ernst Middendorp is not losing sleep over their Nedbank Cup round of 32 exit at the weekend – saving the club’s topflight status is his priority.

The Dube Birds suffered their heaviest defeat since the German-born mentor took over in December when Stellenbosch thrashed them 3-0 to knock them out of the cup.

Middendorp took it on the chin.  

"I said it internally, our focus is PSL, our focus is to get the players in terms of progress and conditioning as far as possible and to keep them available for selection," he said.

The Dube Birds are third from bottom on the DStv Premiership table with 11 matches to go, and perhaps progressing in the cup could have been a distraction.

"As everyone knows, we were only able to sign players in the beginning of February. We all know it’s tricky when you get a player into the squad who hasn't been in competitive matches over a number of months not just days," he said.

The positive from the Stellies defeat was that the new faces, recently registered after Swallows overturned the FIFA ban, got game time.

"Take Bongani Sam, take Evans Rusike, take David Oromi, take some other players in addition, we work to progress, to get them right for us to be really available and contribute to the performance. We need to get the points to be on position 14 or 13, that's our main target," he added.

Swallows return to the Mother City this weekend to face Cape Town City in the league, and Middendorp won’t be experimenting in that fixture like he did versus Stellies. 

"We tried some positioning with some players. It didn't really work but that's definitely something we will address internally. Let's wait and see if we will have other changes to provide next week coming again to Cape Town, playing Cape Town City next Sunday," he concluded.