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United coach Eric Tinkler hints at sabotage

Siphesihle Ndlovu of Maritzburg United is rumoured to be on his way to Mamelodi Sundowns at the end of the season.
Siphesihle Ndlovu of Maritzburg United is rumoured to be on his way to Mamelodi Sundowns at the end of the season.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler is concerned that his players might have been promised lucrative contracts elsewhere.

Bottom-placed Maritzburg suffered their 15th defeat of the season at home to leaders Orlando Pirates on Wednesday night.

It was Vincent Pule's second-half strike that ensured the Team of Choice sunk deeper into anguish.

"You'll never know [if other clubs have poached the players], but you'll have to always be cautious at these situations. When it comes to the last games of the season, there are false opportunities promised to players. Sometimes players believe in it and that could cause us problems,'' said Tinkler.

The Maritzburg players that are linked with other PSL clubs include midfielders Siphesihle Ndlovu and Fortune Makaringe, who are thought to be on the radar of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates respectively.

While even winning all their remaining matches against Black Leopards (away), SuperSport (home) and Baroka (away) may still be inadequate to save them, Tinkler has challenged his troops to never stop fighting. To survive, Maritzburg now also need favours from other teams.

"We know we have to pray that clubs above us drop points. But we must not give up. The aim is to win all our remaining games and see what happens then. We must man up and give our all until the end,'' Tinkler noted.

The mentor did not hide that his players are growing frustrated as they're faced with a near-impossible mission of staving off relegation, admitting it's not easy to cope with this dire situation.

"They are definitely anxious, you are never going to get rid of that [the anxiety], the players are well aware of the current situation the club finds itself in. It's about dealing with it by responding in a positive manner, not panicking and not playing with fear.''

The KZN club battle it out with Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

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