Tinkler Talks: Why Maritzburg, And His Plan Of Attack
Maritzburg United moved quickly in appointing Eric Tinkler as Muhsin Ertugral’s successor in KwaZulu-Natal, and the man himself has revealed what he’s looking to bring to the party.
The Team of Choice are currently bottom of the league table after 18 games, but just five points away from climbing out of the relegation zone at the foot of the log. Tinkler – who won trophies with both Cape Town City and SuperSport United – will now turn his hand to their relegation scrap.
Speaking to the Siya crew today, the 48-year-old discussed his new post as he gets back into the game, and he will be looking to bring the same kind of success to his new employers as he did during his time with City.
When asked why he decided to take on possibly the most difficult job in the Absa Premiership right now, Tinkler said, “The challenge, to be honest… I want to try and resurrect my coaching career in a positive light and show that I’m not afraid of taking a job such as this. I’m obviously not under any illusions, it’s a difficult task, but I studied their team quite thoroughly and prior to Muhsin I was already interested in taking the job.
“I always believed they had a good squad, they had a great season under Fadlu, and then lost key players, but I think the fact that the club has been following the same philosophy since Middendorp suggests that the players can come through. To be honest, I think they’ve been slightly unlucky.
“I missed being in coaching, and this job is not one I that feared. I’m aware of the difficulty, and of course, both the club and myself have agreed that it will only be until the end of the season.”
So what does the former Barnsley, Cagliari and Caldas midfielder hope to bring to the setup in Pietermaritzburg? His relegation experience, he says. Tinkler added, “Hopefully everything that I’ve learnt I can pass onto the players. I’ve played my whole career for relegation clubs… I did 16 years in Europe and I know what it takes in those situations. Hopefully, I can bring positive energy in and boost the morale and confidence in the club.
“I don’t think we should look at 12 games to save ourselves, I think we should be looking at the points between us and the teams above us, and how to close that gap. That’s when you put pressure on other teams… If you win two games then your whole situation changes, both on the table and in the changing room. From what I’ve seen here, I see it as an opportunity to achieve that.”
Tinkler took charge of his first training session at Maritzburg today and will take his place on the bench for the first time when they tackle his former club, Bidvest Wits, on Friday night.