United run to TKO final thrills Eric Tinkler

Animated against Kaizer Chiefs, Eric Tinkler has every reason to be proud.
Animated against Kaizer Chiefs, Eric Tinkler has every reason to be proud.
Image: Dirk Kotze | Gallo Images

Having guided four of the last five teams he coached to cup finals, Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler has every reason to beat his chest in pride.

In his career Tinkler has steered Orlando Pirates (CAF Confederation Cup), Cape Town City (Telkom Knockout), SuperSport United (MTN8) and Maritzburg (Telkom Knockout) to cup finals. It was only during his short stint at Chippa United that he did not qualify for a final.

He has won two of those three finals, with the fourth - the 2019 Telkom KO final - still to be determined against Mamelodi Sundowns in Durban on December 14.

"I'm a winner, I want to win things and achieve things," Tinkler exclaimed confidently. "That needs to rub off on the players.

"My expectations are very high, that's why when we are one-nil up at halftime I am screaming and shouting because I expect more."

The Team of Choice advanced to the final of the TKO following a 2-1 upset win over Kaizer Chiefs at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga on Sunday.

Tinkler has turned the team's fortunes around, from a relegation escapee in the PSL promotion/relegation playoffs back in June, to cup finalists.

"Six months ago we were dead and buried, to be brutally honest. Here were are, six months later, in the final. But we will focus on that later because we have got very important league games."

United turn their attention to the league, where they face Tinkler's former team SuperSport at home tomorrow.

"The league is very compact right now, you lose one or two and you find yourself at the bottom so our first objective is to secure our position in the league," he said.

"We have a tough game against SuperSport coming up. It's going to be a tough period because we have three games in a short space of time.

"Then we have seven games in January so we don't want to find ourselves in January having to fight for points."

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