Ernst Middendorp lavished Hendrick Ekstein with praise over the weekend, calling the midfielder ‘one of the best I’ve ever worked with’ despite his mistake for Kaizer Chiefs.
It was an error from ‘Pule’ that led to Orlando Pirates’ equaliser in the 1-1 Soweto Derby draw on Saturday afternoon, with Chiefs once again dropping points from a winning position as they slipped to seventh in the Absa Premiership table.
The German was not prepared to blame Ekstein for the draw though, insisting that he is capable of carrying the club forward as they look to try and get back to winning ways before the 2018/19 season is over.
Speaking to the media about Ekstein’s role, Middendorp said, “Hendrick is an outstanding player… He’s not a youngster anymore, he’s 28 if I’m not mistaken, and this is definitely somebody who can carry a team with his ideas and the stuff he’s regularly doing.
“But it [mistakes] happens, unfortunately. What could we do? We could have corrected it, and that’s part of the team’s work, we could have closed the space and be a bit more alert and nothing would have happened. It’s unfortunate that it happened but, for me, he’s an outstanding player and one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
‘Pule’ is expected to feature once again at the weekend as Chiefs look to get past The Magic FC and book their spot in the next round of the Nedbank Cup.