COACH ERIC CALLS FOR RENEWED FOCUS AND COMMITMENT
11 February 2020
“We have to raise our game, take our game to the next level if we want to achieve things,” says Maritzburg United head coach Eric Tinkler ahead of Wednesday night’s Absa Premiership showdown with Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg.
The match at the Bidvest Stadium kicks off at 19H30, and is followed just three days later by another challenging league encounter - against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, and also away from home.
At this stage of the season, with just 10 Absa Premiership fixtures remaining, every point is crucial, as is picking up positive momentum.
“We know how important these two league matches are, both of them are going to be tough, Wits and then three days later against Chiefs,” coach Eric underlined.
“But we have just got to be disciplined, professional in terms of our application. And if we put on a good performance we stand a good chance to collect points against both of these teams, that’s got to be the objective for us,” he continued, “to collect something from both the games.
“The players know the importance of these two matches. It’s very important, we’re at the business end of the season, our last 10 matches. The next five games will be extremely important for us in terms of where we finish in the league.
“We have reiterated that to the players - now they need to make sure that they do precisely that – that the focus is there, that they continue working very hard. We have to raise our game, take our game to the next level if we want to achieve things.”
In team news, Gabriel Nyoni remains suspended, but Pogiso Sanoka returns from his ban. Judas Moseamedi will be assessed for an injury issue.
The Team of Choice go into the match on the back of a win in the Nedbank Cup over Stellenbosch FC last weekend.
In terms of league form, Maritzburg are in sixth spot with 27 points, one place and three points behind Bidvest Wits. The Pietermaritzburg outfit have claimed six points from their last five outings, while Gavin Hunt’s Students have picked up 10 in that period.
The clubs have already met this season, a 1-1 draw in the Telkom Knockout, a fixture which United went on to win on penalties at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
In the overall record between them, there have been 26 matches played, with Wits winning 13, Maritzburg four, and nine draws. The last time the Team of Choice beat the Clever Boys outright (penalty shoot-out aside), was all the back in May 2014 – a record the KZN Capital City club will be determined to put right on Wednesday.