Maritzburg take on Sundowns this weekend

Eric Tinkler
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Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler says they will only know whether the lengthy international break was successful for his side should they impress against Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend.

The Team of Choice travel to Tshwane to face the champions in the Absa Premiership match where they will be aiming to end their four-match winless start to the 2019/20 season.

United would have had more than three weeks between their last match on August 28 and this one scheduled for 6pm on Saturday and Tinkler says only time will tell if the break has done them good.

Maritzburg have not managed to win a competitive match since they emphatically swept through the PSL Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs last season.

Despite significantly bolstering their squad, they have managed just two draws and two defeats from four relatively straight forward opening fixtures.

The problem for them is the obvious one of goals, or a lack of them. Tinkler’s charges have found the back of the net just once so far, the lowest of all 16 teams and the coach knows they must improve in the final third.

Maritzburg’s two draws thus far have been at home to Highlands Park and away at Stellenbosch FC, while they have lost to Lamontville Golden Arrows and Black Leopards either side of those two games.

And things hardly get any easier this weekend when they visit a Sundowns side that will be desperate for redemption following a surprise MTN8 semi-final loss to SuperSport United in midweek.

Tinkler concedes it will be difficult, but challenged his players by saying that anything was possible in the Premiership.

Tinkler has also confirmed that he has a full squad at his disposal, including fitness returns for Miguel Timm, Gabriel Nyoni and Thamsanqa Sangweni.

However, on-loan striker Jeremy Brockie, who joined the club on deadline day, is not expected to feature just yet, but should be ready to face Chippa United next weekend.

The Maritzburg coach provided an update on player availability. – Report by Thahir Asmal