Middendorp: Ekstein isn't a youngster anymore for Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp says Hendrick Ekstein is in the prime of his career and can be a real force for the club as an attacking player.
Ekstein made a key mistake in last Saturday's Premiership clash against Orlando Pirates which caused Thembinkosi Lorch's equaliser in the Soweto derby. The match ended 1-1.
However, Middendorp takes the view that mistakes happen in football and that Ekstein is a forward he relies upon to do the business.
He told reporters: "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."
The Bekkersdal-born star has made 15 Premiership appearances in 2018/19, managing one league goal along the way.