Maritzburg needs morale-boosting win at Black Leopards
DURBAN - Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler knows that his side will need a victory against Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo on Saturday in order to boost their morale.
The Team of Choice has lost its first three DSTV Premiership games against Baroka FC, Cape Town City and Chippa United. Following the most recent defeat against Chippa two weeks ago, Tinkler conceded that the morale in the team was low.
"It will be a tough away fixture, but we need to get back to winning ways. We need to go there (to Thohoyandou Stadium) and get a positive result. Getting a positive result there will boost the morale and the confidence of the team. We can then see ourselves turning the corner and getting more positive results," said Tinkler.
Maritzburg will have to make do without the services of defender Riyaaz Ismail and midfielder Sibusiso Hlubi because of suspension. Tinkler confirmed that the only injured player in his squad is midfielder Mxolisi Kunene. The Team of Choice has also received a selection boost as new goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange and Algerian defender Fares Hachi have secured their work permits. The duo will be eligible for selection against Leopards.
The game promises to be an interesting one. Like Maritzburg, Leopards have also started the season in poor form. Lidoda Duvha has also lost their opening three games of the season and are rooted to the bottom of the standings, behind Maritzburg on goal difference.
Leopards will also be playing their first game under the coaching of Dylan Kerr, after they parted ways with Patrick Aussems this week. Coincidently Kerr was recently sacked as coach of Baroka FC after being found guilty of bringing the club into disrepute.
Whilst Maritzburg fared better than Leopards in the league last season, Lidoda Duvha was one of the team's that they struggled against. They lost both of their league fixtures against Leopards last season which included a 3-2 away defeat.
Maritzburg has so far lost against three sides whom they would have backed themselves to gain points against. It is imperative that they get points in Saturday's game if they want to challenge for a solid top eight finish this season.