News Live Scores
League Cup

Maritzburg United to use Telkom Knockout Cup momentum to beat Orlando Pirates – Tinkler

11:56 GMT+3 02/11/2019
Eric Tinkler, Maritzburg United
The Team of Choice boss insists they can go to the final of the TKO Cup, but has set his sights on beating the Buccaneers

Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler has praised his troops for beating Highlands Park in their Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match but he is now targeting a win over Orlando Pirates.

The Team of Choice came from behind to secure a win on penalties against the Lions of the North, with the coach saying they can fight their way into the final of the Cup competition.

In addition, he wants his men to remain focused and keep their winning run as they prepare to face the Soweto giants in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Tuesday night away from home.

“Orlando Pirates, there's a lot of quality there and we need to go there and perform, not play with fear and all the coaches say that when we play against the big three (Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates, and Mamelodi Sundowns), you don’t need to motivate anyone – the players are motivated,” Tinkler told the media in a post-match conference.

“We go there in a good moment of form as a squad and in the league, the position has improved. So, we can go there with a lot of confidence and that makes us more dangerous. But you need to respect a club like Orlando Pirates.

“We have to be respectful of whether they have a good or a bad season because that can quickly change. Obviously we would love to get to the final, that’s a target for us.

“I will tell you that the primary objective is the league, we want to continue playing, winning and have the momentum. We have two league games coming and we need to keep winning, we’re using the Telkom Knockout Cup to have momentum.”

Coming back to the clash that was held at Harry Gwala Stadium, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder expressed delight in how his men applied themselves, but wants an improvement in how they make decisions in the final third.

“I think Highlands Park, for me, is probably the hardest working team by far and they play with intensity and aggression, they are a team that is always very dangerous on counter-attacks,” he continued.

“Especially when they play with two quick players upfront in (Peter) Shalulile and (Mokete) Mogaila, but Shalulile’s pace is always looking to hurt teams. But I think we dealt with that very well today.

“The ascendancy from the first half was primarily with us, we created numerous opportunities which I think was better than what we’ve been doing in the previous games. We seem to have a lot more possession, going forward we were looking to rotate the ball, it’s just that final pass that let us down.”

Moreover, the experienced manager will now wait for the results between Pirates and Amakhosi, SuperSport United and Golden Arrows as well as Sundowns and Chippa United to discover their semi-final opponents but demands improvement from his charges.

“You want to do better to get goals, that final decision and final touch have to get better. We can work on the technique, but decision making I can’t work on that. It’s either you make the right or wrong decision, it has to come from within,” he added.

“The players need to bring that out of themselves, we get into the right areas, but the cross either goes out, too long or too short. Those things I can’t teach, it comes with confidence.

“The character from the squad, work ethic and unity, the guys on the bench are supporting the guys on the field. There are no people pulling faces why they are not playing, everybody is backing the guys coming and that we are a team."