Kaizer Chiefs boss Ernst Middendorp hails Nurkovic for inspiring Amakhosi ABSA PSL title chase

Nurkovic put out yet another man of the match display as Chiefs fought to a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

The Serbian provided two assists in the space of just five minutes to helps his side draw level after being 2-0 down, before his well-hit long-range strike found the back of the net just seconds later.

The 28-year-old, who took his tally this season to 13 league goals – just one behind leading scorer Gabadinho Mhango, showed true never-say-die spirit that coach Ernst Middendorp feels is the envy of many players.

“We have experienced players like Daniel Cardoso, Khama Billiat, Lazarous [Kambole], [Anthony] Akumu – by the way he played a really good game, in particular in the second half, and Erick Mathoho,” Middendorp said in his post-match media briefing.

“These are players who can handle a situation of being 0-1 or 0-2 down, as we saw, and no doubt Samir Nurkovic is a player who demonstrates the ambition and spirit that you need from each and everybody, to influence teammates and the players around him.

“I think that’s very, very important to look into, and there I fully agree that he’s one of our core players for the entire season, and that’s probably one of the guys with a huge contribution to the position Kaizer Chiefs is in.”

Amakhosi now sit six points clear at the top of the log standings after 24 matches played, though second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns still have a game in hand.

Meanwhile Nurkovic believes the five-month break due to the lockdown helped the team gain mental strength and he is pleased this was the case in their game against Clinton Larsen’s men.

Nurkovic urged his teammates to quickly forget about the emphatic result against Polokwane City and focus on the next match as the season isn’t over yet.

“There are still six more games to play. This is in the past now. All that we can do is focus on the next match,” he added.

Asked what Chiefs should do differently in the remaining six matches of the season, Nurkovic said: “We just have to continue with the same fighting spirit and focus on the next game.”


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