Tinkler upbeat, fans jubilant as Maritzburg end long winless run

2019-02-20 06:00
PHOTO: GalloMaritzburg United celebrate their 3-1 win against Polokwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

PHOTO: GalloMaritzburg United celebrate their 3-1 win against Polokwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

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UPBEAT Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler believes that unsettled midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni, who is currently being assessed by the club, is one of the most talented footballers in the country and he expects to make a decision soon about signing him.

However, he reiterated that the former Orlando Pirates and Chippa United man will need to work hard to fulfill his undeniable potential should he pass his assessment at the “Team of Choice”.

“Sangweni has only trained with me for two days and we know his abilities and the talent that he has, but he has a little bit of a dark past and hopefully we can remedy it. I’m a big fan of his.

“But he needs to prove himself. He’ll train with us for another couple of days and then the decision will be made,’’ said Tinkler.

At the moment, there is a great sense of relief at the bottom-of-the-log Midlands side following Friday’s spirited 3-1 victory against Polokwane City, only their second win of the season and first “three-pointer” at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Thabiso Kutumela netted a brace for the home side, with his attacking partner Mohau Mokate scoring the third to halt their 14-match winless run in front of a jubilant crowd.

On the match, the beaming 48-year-old Tinkler said that he had been encouraged by his team’s attitude in training since taking charge and that work done there had been transferred successfully to the pitch on Friday night.

“I’m extremely happy that the gorilla is finally off our backs, but the monkey is still there. It’s still a long journey.

It’s a massive boost and was important for us to collect the three points and the bonus for me was seeing what we do in training being implemented in the game.”

“I spoke to the attacking players and we have been working primarily on that and then to see it come out in the game was a massive positive. Personally I thought we should have scored more goals.

But hopefully this is the start of better things, although it’s not going to be easy because the next games are all difficult.”

The ‘Men in Blue’ remained 16th on the league standings despite the win, with 14 points, two shy of their nearest rivals Free State Stars who lost to Chippa United on the weekend.

They have a two-week recess before their next league assignment away to Cape Town City, who were also unlucky on the weekend, losing to AmaZulu by 1-0 in Durban.

“It gives us the chance to work on certain aspects of our game, like allowing teams to attack us and if we allow that with Cape Town City I think we’ll get punished. It gives us time to work on those areas and me time to see some of the younger players.

I have one friendly during the week.”

Tinkler said it was very important that his young troops celebrate such occasions to a certain degree but they need to remain focused and be mentally ready for their next task instead of looking at their current situation.

“I think they need to celebrate because it’s been a long time.

But when they come back to training [today] it’s back to being a professional footballer. Working hard and meeting the objectives that we set ourselves, it’s important that they understand that,’’ he concluded.

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