‘To be brutally honest, everybody that was watching this on TV would have changed the channel.’
ERIC Tinkler slammed the poor surface of the pitch at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi after his Maritzburg United shared the spoils with AmaZulu in a 0-0 stalemate at the weekend.
The pitch was terrible and affected the flow of the game in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal derby and Tinkler did not mince his words in his assessment after the match.
“To be brutally honest, everybody that was watching this on TV would have changed the channel. I don’t think the pitch helped either team. Both teams were forced to play ugly football. It wasn’t the great game of football,” Tinkler elaborated.
Maritzburg are now 10th on the log with 14 points and they are in the Telkom Knockout final. They will face Mamelodi Sundowns on December 14 at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
“We had to play off the second ball. It was extremely difficult. In the second half I don’t think anybody had a chance or created a chance or a keeper had to make a save. I thought we started well in the first minutes. I think there was a potential penalty that should have gone our way. Obviously, I would love to watch that again on TV. Today, was all about fighting for the second ball. Defensively we were well-structured and organised. It is hard for me to be very critical of my players because of the pitch,” he added.
Tinkler is elated about the hunger that his players are showing ahead of the Telkom Knockout final.
“I’ve given a few guys opportunities. The young boy, Sanisa (Bongokuhle Hlongwane) has been doing well for our Multichoice Diski Challenge side. Today, we felt that playing with two strikers upfront will be helpful because of the pitch. I knew we had to play aggressively upfront. We went with Judas (Moseamedi) and young Sanisa who, I think, did well. He will only get better. He has got speed, he has got good agression. His second touch was difficult because of the pitch but technically he is a very good player,” Tinkler explained.
Maritzburg are searching for their maiden trophy triumph in the Premier Soccer League era.
“Delion (Mekoa) came in and I thought he did well. He has been working hard at training. He gave us another direction. He can play through the middle. He can play wide. The options are there and we want that headache. It is good for us going in to the final against Sundowns.” Tinkler concluded.