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Tinkler is out to make solid start against Baroka


Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler is wary of the potential dent the knockout cup exit against Kaizer Chiefs last week may have had on the players.

Eric Tinkler coach of Maritzburg United. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

MARITZBURG United coach Eric Tinkler has predicted a tough PSL season ahead of his team’s season opener away to Baroka FC on Saturday.

The Team of Choice will have to put behind their disappointment of losing 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 quarter-final last weekend. Tinkler is wary of the potential dent the knockout cup exit may have had on the players.

“We want to start the 2020/21 season on the front foot. It is important that we try and get a positive result against Baroka.

“The games will not be easy this season as they all come thick and fast. The fact that we performed well in the first half against Chiefs was encouraging. If we can put on a similar performance against Baroka for 90 minutes, we can get a positive result,” said Tinkler.

One big question for Maritzburg is how they will fill the void created by the departure of goalkeeper Richard Ofori after the Ghanaian joined Orlando Pirates this week.

On the positive side, Tinkler added that new Maritzburg signing José Alí Meza will be available for the game. The Venezuela international joined the club from Mamelodi Sundowns during the off-season and will be expected to strengthen the team’s attack.

The Team of Choice will be without the services of defender Kwanda Mngonyama who has two remaining games left on his suspension following a red card against Bloemfontein Celtic late last season, and they will have to also make do without midfielder Dan Morgan after the New Zealand international was injured at the weekend.

Saturday’s game promises to be an interesting one leaving little room for error from both sides, as was the case last season.

Neither side dominated the other during their league clashes last season as each won their home fixture.

So, as Tinkler says, it will be imperative that Maritzburg start the season on a good note if they are to once again challenge for a solid top eight finish this season.

Eshlin Vedan