Maritzburg United up for playoffs challenge
Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs have generally struggled in the play-offs in past years with only three teams emerging as victors.
Polokwane City, AmaZulu, Baroka FC and Mpumalanga Black Aces are the only PSL sides that have won the play-offs.
The Team of Choice finished 15th on the log and they are competing against two National First Division outfits, Royal Eagles and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the play-offs.
Each team plays four games and the team with the most points will be promoted.
Maritzburg will lock horns against Royal Eagles in their first outing at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday at 3pm.
Eagles lead with three points after one game. They defeated Tshakhuma 1-0 at Chatsworth Stadium on Wednesday. Mbulelo Wambi scored for the home side.
Eric Tinkler of Maritzburg believes they are ready for the play-offs.
“So far the preparation leading to the play-offs are going so well. The players are ready and they understand the importance of getting a positive result against Royal Eagles. The mood in camp has been very good. The response from the players on the field has been exceptional. They are well aware of the importance of us getting through the play-offs even though we know that it is going to be extremely tough.
"Few teams from the PSL have survived the play-offs. We need to remember that. Psychologically the players are in a right frame of mind,” Tinkler said.
The Team of Choice had the whole week to prepare for the KZN derby. They shared the spoils in their last game against Baroka FC.
“No one is carrying a major injury. Only Brian Onyango was rested last week but I think he will be available. Currently we do not have players with issues of suspensions and injuries. So far, all is looking good.
"It is important game for us at home. We rely heavily on our 12th man. I think they have been absolutely fantastic for the period that I’ve been here. We hope they come up in their numbers to support us. It is very important that they come out there and do what they have been doing and hopefully we can make them proud,” he added.
Eagles will be looking to make it two out of two when they face their bitter rivals.
“Playing NFD teams is totally a different ball game. You’ve got to have a different mindset. The fear factor that I have is that you start lowering your levels. If you drop your levels, you are going to come unstuck,” Tinkler elaborated.@Minenhlecr7