Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler is optimistic striker Jeremy Brockie will soon come good and display the form that made him a star at SuperSport United. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

DURBAN – Maritzburg United boss, Eric Tinkler, has defended the misfiring Jeremy Brockie who has struggled to regain his goal-scoring prowess since joining Maritzburg United on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns.

Brockie joined the Team of Choice on a season-long loan with huge expectations but has failed to live up to his billing. The New Zealander had spent a season watching from the sidelines at Sundowns and is yet to regain the red-hot form he showed at SuperSport United.

In his debut game (against Black Leopards) for the team from the KwaZulu-Natal capital he missed a penalty. He was fortunate not to take the blame as the Team of Choice won 1-0. Brockie also failed to score in his second game against Baroka FC.

It was the same for Brockie in the Telkom Knockout as Maritzburg stunned Bidvest Wits on penalties to book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Tinkler is adamant that the sun will finally shine for the Kiwi marksman.

“You’ve got to understand that for a player to be out (of action) like Jeremy has been it is not easy. He has been out for something like seven months. For a footballer that is a long time. My understanding is that he didn’t do a hell of a lot at training while he was at Sundowns. When he joined us, obviously his fitness levels were not where he needs to be,” said Tinkler.

Brockie hasn’t been the same since his transfer from SuperSport United to Sundowns 18 months ago. He was deadly and fearsome during his days with Matsatsantsa A Pitori but things have changed and he is fighting to climb back to those heights.

Said Tinkler: “His sharpness as a striker is not where it should be. Slowly but surely, I’ve brought him into the games. I’ve played him 65 minutes, I’ve taken him to 75 minutes and today (last Friday), although he didn’t finish the game but he played 97 minutes.

I was very happy with that because it means that in my opinion Jeremy is fit. He is ready to rock and roll which is what we want from Jeremy.”

The New Zealand international will hope to get the monkey off his back by notching his first goal for his new club this Friday when they lock horns with struggling Cape Town City.

Jeremy Brockie is hoping to return to scoring form for Maritzburg sooner rather than later. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

“What’s important is that we haven’t played well. It is easy to criticise our strikers and say well, Jeremy didn’t score. But did we create anything for Jeremy? Not really. We haven’t created much.

How much work has Jeremy done for us? A hell of a lot of work but it was defensively. Jeremy needs to be offering us that but we need to be supplying him,” Tinkler explained.

@Minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury

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