Tinkler: Xulu was carrying a bit of a burden

DURBAN – Eric Tinkler has explained the change of captaincy at Maritzburg United where Brian Onyango was named the new captain, replacing Siyanda Xulu.

Tinkler, who joined Maritzburg last week, said he did not have anything against Xulu.

“Obviously the new coach has come in with new ideas. I just felt that I needed to take a certain weight off Siyanda’s shoulders. I think he was carrying a lot of weight and that it was a bit of a burden. 

He was in the national team and then there’s a club situation. I felt that I needed to make him focus on his game instead of everybody else’s, but I also think he played well on Friday against Bidvest Wits,” Tinkler explained.

Maritzburg are at the foot of the table.

“Onyango is a little bit more matured and experienced. I felt like right now, the type of character he is, he can carry that burden hence I made that change. There are no other reasons. Siyanda is still the leader of the team in terms of what my plans are and what I expect from the players. It is just he is not going to wear the armband because I know the weight it carries,” he added.

B18BCSM67 - Tinkler: Xulu was carrying a bit of a burden
Brian Onyango has taken over the captain’s armband at Maritzburg United. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Onyango is targeting victory when they host Polokwane City on Friday at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“It is just an armband because everyone is the captain in the team. We are positive about Friday. We are putting a lot energy at training. We believe that Friday, we will get the three points,” Onyango said.

Onyango was in the Maritzburg squad that survived relegation on the last day three seasons ago and he is confident that they will survive.

“We are confident that we can pull it off. The whole team is also confident. We have 11 games to go. There’s still time. We won’t get relegated,” Onyango said.

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Maritzburg haven’t won a league game at home this season. They have also lost their last seven games against Bidvest Wits, Chippa United, Witbank Spurs, Free State Stars, Mamelodi Sundowns, Lamontville Golden Arrows and Baroka FC.

Their last victory in the league was in September under the tenure of Fadlu Davids.


The Mercury

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