Maritzburg United Coach Eric Tinkler is grateful to relegation rivals Chippa United, Baroka FC, Free State Stars and Black Leopards for continuously giving them hope of survival by producing poor results.
The Team of Choice face Lidoda Duvha in a massive six pointer on Saturday with defeat likely to be the final straw of their bid to survive the Absa Premiership axe.
While United have failed to win their last two games, the other relegation candidates have failed to gain three points either, which is keeping Tinkler hopeful over a miracle.
Tinkler was speaking after Maritzburg’s survival push suffered a massive setback when they were beaten by log leaders Orlando Pirates 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday.
In a match that could have gone either way, the hosts were not clinical enough and neither did they show enough desperation to win the game.
Tinkler was disappointed that all their plans did not come to fruition in the game and hopes his player will be able to deliver the perfect performance in Thohoyandou on Saturday.
The big picture, or harsh reality, for United is they are still firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with 20 points from 27 matches. Chippa are four points above them, Baroka five clear and Leopards and Stars six ahead with 26 points, although the Lidoda Duvha do have a game in hand.
Two of Maritzburg’s remaining fixtures are against the two Limpopo strugglers away from home, with the other being a home clash against SuperSport United.
Tinkler knows winning those two games against their relegation rivals are a must, saying that even then surviving will be tough.
Despite Tinkler aiming for wins against Leopards and Baroka, reality is that they have only one victory on the road all season.
That was way back in September when they beat Bloemfontein Celtic. The form book is also against them after three defeats from their last four.
Leopards themselves are not in the best of form as they aim to snap a four-match winless streak.
Tinkler is still optimistic about producing a result in the north. – Reporting by Thahir Asmal