Maritzburg United coach, Eric Tinkler says he would have liked it better if their Telkom Knockout semifinals match against Kaizer Chiefs this weekend was to be played at FNB Stadium. The much anticipated game will be played Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday afternoon.
Tinkler said Amakhosi’s poor attendance record at the world famous World Cup final venue would have evened things out for his side.
““They are Kaizer Chiefs, wherever they go it’s a home game for them,” Tinkler said this week. “But their record at FNB hasn’t been good and I would have preferred to play them there,” he added.
“But Mbombela Stadium… I like that stadium. It is fantastic. The surface will be great for the brand of football we want to play. It is going to be an entertaining game. We know how strong they are as they are having a great season.
“Their confidence right now is very high. But we need to go there and be brave and not play with any fear,” explained the 49-year-old mentor.
Tinkler was impressed with his players who gave their all in their first training session on Monday after a weekend off.
“We came through three games in seven days and I felt I should give them some time off. I gave them last weekend off. But the intensity at training yesterday was massive which I didn’t expect. It was the same again today, so we are good. It shows that everyone wants to get into that 18-man squad for the weekend game,” he said.
But with his team having just found their rhythm and looking good, it needs a certain skill for Tinkler to keep everyone in his team content and committed.
“You just have to manage the players well in such situations. We have been doing well and the players also need to understand that you can’t change a winning team. But that’s the hard part, keeping all the players happy. It’s difficult.
“There is always criticism that you should have played this one or that one. I don’t mind when players are unhappy that they are not playing, because that’s the way you should feel, you understand? But how you express it is very important,” he said.