Ernst Middendorp has conceded Cape Town Spurs are consistently being outdone due to ‘several players’ who are not prepared to play at the highest level in South African football.

Promoted to the DStv Premiership earlier this year, Spurs are in relatively early danger of returning to the National First Division next season.

They have won one and lost 13 matches this PSL season – and are currently at the bottom of the points table. Richards Bay, who are in second-last position, are seven points ahead of Spurs.

“Several players are not prepared for the PSL at the moment, we must be honest. There are several players with talent in the club, but they need guidance,” said Middendorp.

“There’s a lot of talent, but it is a certain challenge of being able to have some real physical power to be successful in stopping a player who is driving through the midfield. We just really need power.

“It’s not that you are good in ball possession, you need to stop a player and then in the moment make something out of it yourself.”

Middendorp joined Spurs in November 2023 after former coach Shaun Bartlett was fired in October. Technical director Sean Connor was interim coach between Bartlett’s exit and Middendorp’s arrival.

“Preparing the players doesn’t mean that you are not able to identify that they have talent. Talent is one parameter,” added Middendorp.

“The professionalism starts with how strong I’m prepared to work on being physical. Talent is not the question. It’s not an issue.”

Spurs will meet 10th-placed AmaZulu in the PSL on Friday. This will be followed by a clash with Cape Town City on 31 December.