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Tinkler: Xulu was carrying a bit of a burden

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Maritzburg are at the foot of the table and need their players to be switched on

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ERIC Tinkler has explained the change of captaincy at Maritzburg United, after Brian Onyango was named the new captain, having replaced Siyanda Xulu.

Tinkler, who joined Maritzburg as head coach last week, said he did not have anything against Xulu.

“Obviously the new coach has come in, new ideas. I just felt that I needed to take a certain weight off Siyanda’s shoulders. I think he was carrying a lot of weight.

“It was a bit of a burden. He was in the national team and then there’s a club situation. I felt that I needed to make him focus on his game instead of everybody else’s. I think he played well on Friday against Bidvest Wits,” Tinkler explained.

Maritzburg are at the foot of the table and need their players to be switched on.

“Onyango is a little bit more matured and experienced. I felt like right now, the type of character he is, he can carry that burden hence I made that change. There are no other reasons. Siyanda is still the leader of the team in terms of what my plans are and what I expect from the players. It is just he is not going to wear the armband because I know the weight it carries,” he added.

Onyango is targeting victory when they host Polokwane City on Friday at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“It is just an armband because everyone is the captain in the team. We are positive about Friday. We are putting a lot energy at training. We believe that Friday, we will get the three points,” Onyango said.

Onyango was in the Maritzburg squad that survived relegation on the last day three seasons ago. He is confident that they will survive this time also.

“We are confident that we can pull it off. The whole team is also confident. We have 11 games to go. There’s still time. We won’t get relegated,” Onyango elaborated.

Maritzburg haven’t won a league game at home this season; in fact their last victory in the league was in September under the tenure of Fadlu Davids.