Maritzburg United head coach Eric Tinkler admitted that his troops suffered from a hangover as they lost 2-0 to SuperSport United on Wednesday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Maritzburg United head coach Eric Tinkler admitted that his troops suffered from a hangover as they lost 2-0 to SuperSport United on Wednesday at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Expectations were high ahead of Wednesday’s game following the Team of Choice’s victory over Amakhosi in the Telkom Knockout. SuperSport scorers Kudakwashe Mahachi and Sipho Mbule brought Eric Tinkler’s men back down to earth, ending their unbeaten streak of eight games across all competitions.

Tinkler admitted after the game that his team were nowhere near their best against SuperSport.

“We weren’t great. It is as simple as that. We were poor today to be brutally honest. We didn’t deserve to collect the points. Over the 90 minutes, I don’t think we created enough in the final third. I don’t think we played at the right intensity. Three massive points lost at home,” said Tinkler.

Maritzburg will face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 14 December and Tinkler will know that a performance like they put up against SuperSport will akin to handing the Telkom Knockout title to Sundowns without a fight.

“I kind off expected it because it has happened before. You see it week in and week out, not only in South Africa but you see it in the Uefa Champions League. Getting the guys in the right frame of mind proved to be very difficult. We have to roll up our sleeves and keep going. That’s all we can do. We’ve got to take this one on the chin and, hopefully, it brings everyone back to the ground and we just move on,” Tinkler said. Maritzburg lost for the first time at Harry Gwala Stadium this season and the result is likely to dent their confidence at home.

“You try and remind them (the players). We have been talking about this since the game ended against Chiefs. I said, there’s no time for celebration. We will celebrate when we win the Cup. So, you make them aware, hoping that it will sink in their minds. Whether it has, I can’t tell,” Tinkler said.

There is no rest for Maritzburg as they are scheduled to visit AmaZulu at King Zwelithini Stadium in a KwaZulu-Natal derby on Sunday. Meetings between the two teams have been full of fireworks. Usuthu are in a predicament of their own following a 1-0 defeat to Sundowns on Tuesday, which left second from bottom on the PSL standings. Losing to Maritzburg could get the alarm bells ringing. Even a draw may not be good enough for AmaZulu coach Josef Vukusic. On the other hand, Tinkler also needs to collect points. His team may be in ninth spot in the league, but it’s a mere two points that separates them from AmaZulu. So, both teams will be looking for full points to stay away from the relegation zone.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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