Tinkler aiming to save Maritzburg

Eric Tinkler doesn’t want to see Maritzburg United getting relegated in the Premier Soccer League.

Tinkler took over from Muhsin Ertugral last week. He lost on debut against log leaders Bidvest Wits on Friday.

Lehlohonolo Majoro netted the winner for the Clever Boys in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Maritzburg are rooted to the foot of the table with 11 points after 19 games.

Tinkler is keen to keeps Maritzburg in the top flight.

“I’m a winner. I want to achieve things. I want to see this team staying in the league. It will be a big shame if this team was to go down. They are a good team with a good support base,” Tinkler explained.

Maritzburg have lost their last seven games in all competitions. They have been dismantled by Baroka FC, Lamontville Golden Arrows, Free State Stars, Chippa United, Mamelodi Sundowns, Witbank Spurs and Wits.

The Team of Choice have one victory in the league. They beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in September.

“Psychological factor is going to be key in our situation. Right now, it is all about working on the mindset of the players. We can train and do all the tactical work but it is key to instill a positive mindset into my players,” he added. Tinkler pulled off a last minute transfer window signing of Allan Kateregga from Cape Town City.

The Team of Choice acquired Mpho Matsi, Miguel Timm, Judas Moseamedi and Thabiso Kutumela before the arrival of Tinkler.

“Kateregga is hungry for game time. He will give us a lot of options in attack. He is fighting for the position in his national team (Uganda). He has to play and play well for him to get selected,” Tinkler stated.

Maritzburg have lacked that cutting edge in front of goals this season.

“It is wrong to blame strikers. Are we giving them chances? Chances created are not falling for strikers. Players have to put in assists for strikers to score. Maritzburg are so used to playing through the middle. They are not a team that will go wide and put in crosses. Opposition teams have mastered that. We have to come up with plan B,” Tinkler elaborated.

He took positives from Friday’s loss.

“Obviously teams are judged on whether they win or lose but if you go deeper, the performance was better. We made one mistake and it proved to be costly.

“We could have won the game. We created chances to score goals. But we have to keep going. We have to bring that confidence back into the players,” Tinkler concluded.

Maritzburg next face Polokwane City on Friday (8pm) at Harry Gwala Stadium in the league.


Sunday Tribune

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