Tinkler targets ailing Amakhosi

DURBAN – Maritzburg United are yet to taste success on the road under the guidance of Eric Tinkler but they are looking to change that unwanted record.

Tinkler took over the reins from Muhsin Ertugral in January and since then United have suffered two defeats in two away games. They were brushed off by Wits and then succumbed to a 3-2 loss at the expense of Cape Town City.

All the points Tinkler has earned have been captured at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

The Team of Choice dispatched Polokwane City and AmaZulu at home, and Tinkler has challenged his troops to get off the mark away from home.

Maritzburg will face Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday at 3.30pm in a PSL encounter.

“It is all about collecting maximum points in each game that we are playing. Now, we need to take the performances that we’ve produced here away from home,” Tinkler explained.

B19CAMN424 - Tinkler targets ailing Amakhosi
Samuel Darpoh of AmaZulu is challenged by Thabiso Kutumela of Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Maritzburg have only registered one victory away in the league this season, which came during the tenure of Fadlu Davids back in September, against Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Team of Choice will be out to end that six month barren run.

“It is a mental block. When you start losing you start disbelieving in yourself. You start disbelieving in your colleagues.

“Then it becomes a blame game. That’s something we tried to rectify when I came in.

“I think everybody is aware that we are all in this together. The only we can get out of it, it is if we stick together. We believe in each other.

“We’ve been giving players that belief. We’ve given them a little bit of freedom to express themselves. That’s how they have responded,” he added.

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Maritzburg are still rooted at the foot of the table with 17 points after 22 games but Tinkler has brought a new lease of life in to the side.

They are oozing confidence and they are scoring goals which is something that wasn’t happening often before he arrived. Maritzburg are scoring under Tinkler – in the last three games, they have netted seven goals.

“Again we can’t celebrate. The job is far from done. Let us be realistic, we are still sitting at the bottom of the table,” Tinkler explained.

Chiefs have endured turbulent times in the absence of injured keeper Itumeleng Khune, and have suffered from defensive frailties.

Now the Team of Choice will be hoping to take advantage of Amakhosi’s fragility at the back.


The Mercury

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