Complacency United’s biggest danger

2020-03-11 06:01
Maritzburg United have experienced defender Siyanda Xulu back in the selection frame for Friday’s league encounter with Polokwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium.PHOTO: gallo images

Maritzburg United have experienced defender Siyanda Xulu back in the selection frame for Friday’s league encounter with Polokwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium.PHOTO: gallo images

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MARITZBURG United coach Eric Tinkler habitually utters the phrase “to be brutally honest” during interviews, and his brutally honest situation right now is a very pleasing one where complacency is a bigger threat than form, injuries, or suspensions going into Friday’s clash with Polokwane City in the Absa Premiership at Harry Gwala Stadium.

The former Bafana Bafana star’s hard-working men currently occupy an inspiring fifth spot in the standings to Polokwane’s troubled 13th, from having stunned title-chasing sides Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs away and Stellenbosch at home in their last three league assignments.

In addition, there are no new major injuries or suspensions in Tinkler’s camp this week, plus defender Siyanda Xulu is back in the selection frame for the clash with Polokwane following an automatic one-match suspension that covered his team’s emphatic 3-0 win over Stellenbosch last Friday.

While the ever-focused Tinkler is chuffed with the appearance of the log table and manpower situation, he is urging his never-say-die warriors to keep plugging away and virtually secure a top-eight finish as soon as possible.

“What we want to see from the team is consistency and continuity, and I think that is the most important thing for me going into this game,” he said yesterday. “We must remain humble and take nothing for granted. It is going to be a tough game against Polokwane because they are obviously looking to get themselves out of the relegation zone.

“They come off two wins in a row, so they will come here believing they can get something from the match.”

In the two teams’ first-round clash in early December, Tinkler saw his side clinch a 1-0 win with a great freekick from attacking midfielder Yusuf Yappie in the second half at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Limpopo.

His “Team of Choice” had chances to cement their lead but ended up having to face high pressure from their hosts before coming away with three valuable points.

“We need to stick to the game-plan. We need to play with that determination, hunger, passion and desire that we showed against Stellenbosch last Friday,” said Tinkler. “The guys have to be wanting more. We have to cement our place in that top eight and the way to do that is to continue collecting points and make that gap bigger between ourselves and the teams below us on the log.”

His outfit have seven matches left in the 30-game league programme which climaxes on the second weekend of May.

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