Cup final defeat has hit Tinkler hard
JOHANNESBURG - A visibly disappointed Eric Tinkler revealed that he first has to pick himself up before he can motivate his Maritzburg United players to bounce back from their Telkom Knockout final defeat so that they finish strong in the league.
The Team of Choice looked set to collect their first trophy in the club’s history following their dominant display in the first half against Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
However, the Brazilians bounced back to win 2-1 and continue Maritzburg’s wait for their first trophy.
It was remarkable that the Team of Choice reached the cup final six months after securing their premier division status through the play-offs.
The disappointment of losing their second cup final in two seasons could be a psychologically challenging situation if not handled right.
The club will end the year with the mammoth challenge of trying to stop the red hot Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday at Harry Gwala Stadium.
“The first challenge is trying to lift myself,” Tinkler said. “That’s key, because I am massively disappointed. I want to win trophies. That’s why I love being a coach. I love being a coach who wins things. Being on the losing side is always difficult side to be on, and this is the third time I have felt that. It’s hard to bear.
“The fact of the matter is the ball is round, life moves on and in a couple of days we have a crucial game against Kaizer Chiefs. Our league position is massively important for us, we want to try and finish on a positive note.
“I have to try and be a psychologist to a degree, to try and motivate myself and then get the players motivated as well. They got a couple of days to reflect which also gave me time to reflect and get rid of all the steam. And then we move on.”
The highlight for Maritzburg was the resurgence of Judas Moseamedi who tormented defenders in the final and in the semi-finals against Amakhosi.
A repeat of that performance against Chiefs on Sunday will see the Team of Choice finish the year with a win over the league’s pacesetters.
“Judas is showing the hunger and desire to want to succeed,” Tinkler said.
“I said to him at the beginning of the season, that he has the potential to play for Bafana Bafana because he has those qualities. He is one of those strikers who will chase lost causes. Any other striker wouldn’t have chased that lost cause and that’s how he ended up getting the goal.
“His work ethic and work rate is absolutely phenomenon. Many people only see this burly, strong striker but technically he is also very gifted. He has the ability to take people on, on one versus one and two versus one situations.
“We spoke about him needing to lose weight at the start of the season. That’s one of his biggest problems. He is as big as me, I know that it’s hard, but he has shown the hunger and the desire to want to achieve things.”