Ernst Middendorp Maritzburg United

Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia has given coach Ernst Middendorp three matches to turn around the run of poor form at the club. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Maritzburg United give Ernst Middendorp an IMPOSSIBLE ultimatum!

Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia has given coach Ernst Middendorp three matches to turn around the run of poor form at the club.

Ernst Middendorp Maritzburg United

Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia has given coach Ernst Middendorp three matches to turn around the run of poor form at the club. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia has confirmed he’s given coach Ernst Middendorp three matches to turn around the run of poor form at the club – or potentially face the axe.

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On the surface that’s an impossible situation for Middendorp who would be well advised to start parking his bags!

In an interview with TimesLIVE, Kadodia told Middendorp this week that flirting with relegation in 13th position in the 16-team log was unacceptable.

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Maritzburg United have three wins, nine defeat and six draws from their 18 matches this season.

They have scored a second-worst 10 goals and leaked 19 to date.

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Making Middendorp’s ultimatum almost impossible to achieve is that Maritzburg United face sixth-placed SuperSport United (February 15), 10th-ranked Golden Arrows (February 25) and table toppers Mamelodi Sundowns (March 5) when the league resumes in mid-February.

Even more bad news for Ernst Middendorp

In some good news, all three of those matches will be ‘home’ ties for the Team of Choice at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

However, Middendorp will be without his star striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane who has left the club and signed for MLS side Minnesota United FC.

In addition, as reported by The South African website, fellow forward Jose Ali Meza has terminated his contract with Maritzburg United.

“I did make it clear to the coach that the position we are in now is not acceptable, especially with the fact we’ve played 18 games,” Kadodia said.

“And also, I have worked with the coach on a number of occasions and I said that, ‘Listen, I just think we need to see exactly what went wrong and let’s see how we can put it right’.

“We brainstormed certain issues, and we think we can put those things right while also giving the coach that mandate that I’m not going to wait for four games – he’s got to turn it around.

“We’ve got three consecutive home games back from the break, and while they are tough games I still believe the coach has the ability to turn it around.

“We went into a shell from about game three until games 16 or 17, and I think he needs a way of rectifying that. And I’m sure after my meeting with him things will change a lot.

“I’m not going to tell you what I said word for word, but I did in a nutshell say that the important thing is that we’ve got to maintain the team spirit in the camp.

“And also that when we fought relegation in the past, whether under Eric Tinkler, Ian Palmer, or Ernst himself, the reality was what made the difference was the ability to ignite the players’ spirit,” Kadodia concluded.

Good luck Ernst, you’re going to need it!