Eric Tinkler: For us, it is all about three points. They don’t need it as much as we do. Photo: Luigi Bennett/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Maritzburg United are still rooted at the foot of the Absa Premiership table and they are well aware that anything less than three points against Bloemfontein Celtic won’t be good enough.

The Team of Choice will welcome Celtic to Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday at 8pm.

Maritzburg are four points behind Baroka and Chippa United on the log.

Coach at Maritzburg, Eric Tinkler, wants his troops to close the gap to the other relegation candidates.

"For us, it is all about three points. They don’t need it as much as we do. For us, it is about closing that gap between us and the two teams directly above us. That’s what we need to do.

“We need to collect three points. Anything less than that wouldn’t satisfy us. It wouldn’t be good enough. We know the importance of getting these result because it will put the pressure on the teams directly above us,” Tinkler said.

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Maritzburg are languishing at the base of the table with 17 points after 24 games.

“Celtic brings what they have been doing the whole season. Everybody knows exactly the situation the club is in but the players are playing without fear.

Players are not afraid to express themselves. They have been playing good football. Obviously we need to look at their strengths and make sure that defensively we fulfill our tasks.

“We have to study their weaknesses and we have to expose those weaknesses. That’s obviously what we’ve been trying to work on,” he added.

Maritzburg will face Celtic, Highlands Park, Orlando Pirates, Black Leopards, SuperSport United and Baroka FC in their last six league outings.

“I’m not a psychologist, but I’m a coach and I have to be a psychologist, and I need to motivate these boys and that’s what I will do.

“I will only know when the referee blows that whistle, that’s when I will know whether they are in a right frame of mind or not.

“That’s the best I can do. I have to prepare them to the best of my ability. I have to remain positive myself.

“That rubs off on them,” said Tinkler.


The Mercury

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