Maritzburg United coach Tinkler switches focus to Wits and leaders Chiefs

Former Moroka Swallows defender Vincent Kobola (L) is quietly honing his coaching skills as assistant coach to Eric Tinkler (R) at Maritzburg United.
Former Moroka Swallows defender Vincent Kobola (L) is quietly honing his coaching skills as assistant coach to Eric Tinkler (R) at Maritzburg United.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler says the next five games‚ starting with Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night‚ are extremely important for his side to see where they finish in the Absa Premiership.

Tinkler’s side take on fifth-placed Wits in a league game at Bidvest Stadium (kickoff 7.30pm).

The Maritzburg coach has set his sights on spearheading the sixth-placed United to a respectable finish at the end of the season in May.

The KwaZulu-Natal side have two tough matches on the road in Johannesburg‚ meeting league leaders Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday after the Wits encounter.

“We know how important the next two league matches are. Both of them are going to be tough – Wits‚ and three days later against (Kaizer) Chiefs‚” Tinkler said.

“We just have to be disciplined‚ professional in terms of our application. And if we put on a good performance we stand a good chance of going to collect points against both of these teams.”

Tinkler’s emphasis on the league was shown by the coach resting some players in their Nedbank Cup last-32 outing against Stellenbosch FC at Athlone Stadium on Friday night‚ which Maritzburg still managed to win 5-4 on penalties.

“The games with Wits and Chiefs have been in my thoughts because the league is very important to us‚” the coach said.

“We are at the business end of the season now. Our last 10 matches‚ this is where now the next five games are going to be extremely important for us to see where we finish in the league.

“We have reiterated that to the players. Now they need to make sure that they do precisely that when it comes to the matches – that the focus is there‚ they continue working very hard.

“We have to raise our game and take our game to the next level if we want to achieve things.”

For Wednesday night’s game‚ Maritzburg will be welcoming back key players that missed their Cup matchup against Stellenbosch.

“Gabriel (forward Gabriel Nyoni) is still out‚” Tinkler said.

“Judas (Judas Moseamedi)‚ we will assess him to see how he is in terms of his injury.

"Pogiso (Pogiso Sanoka) is back from suspension. That’s a good thing. Everybody is available barring Gabriel.”


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