Eric Tinkler and his team have to give everything they have as they look to avoid the drop. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Maritzburg United have every reason to believe that they will avoid the drop. They have done the difficult part, which is taking the relegation dog fight down to the wire. They now have to finish the job in Polokwane.

Maritzburg face Baroka FC in a much-anticipated encounter at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday. Maritzburg are still at the basement of the league standings with 26 points after 29 games. A win on the weekend may be good enough for the Team of Choice to avoid relegation if other results go their way, but coach Eric Tinkler only wants his team to focus on their game.

“They will be highly motivated going in to that game. They will be up for the challenge. We know, it is going to be easy. Anyone is beatable. You can’t be looking at names in the piece of paper anymore. You will expect Kaizer Chiefs to be a little bit better (than Chippa United). They’ve been shockingly poor in my opinion. I expect them to lose if you look at the way they have performed in the last six games. That’s the disappointment that you’ve got to rely on others in order to come out of the predicaments that we find ourselves in. All we can do is do our job and that is to collect three points,” Tinkler said.

Maritzburg have avoided relegation on the last day of the season before. Three seasons ago they came from behind to beat Jomo Cosmos under Ernst Middendorp. They will be looking to put up a similar fight like that one this weekend.

“We are going in there to work and win. We’ve got to have that unity within the group which is we have, guys on the bench supporting the guys that are starting. Guys come off the bench and add value. That’s what we have to do when we go there. We need to go out there and do what we good at which is our offensive play that to take the game into the opposition half and looking to play without fear,” Tinkler said.

Maritzburg are buzzing with confidence after winning back-to-back games for the first time this season and will be aiming to make it three out of three on Saturday.

“I’m happy for the players and the amount of work and shift they have put in. Our crowd is phenomenal. I don’t think there is a team that has a crowd like this in the PSL for small sides. It will be a massive disappointment if we go down,” Tinkler said.


The Mercury

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