Given how the two teams have fared so far in 2018/19 PSL campaign, Wednesday night’s clash between Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates fits the description of a “David and Goliath” clash, and Eric Tinkler – the man in charge of the less fancied side hopes his charges can adopt a fearless approach on the day.
The Team of Choice are battling relegation as they occupy last place on the log, and even three points against the Soweto giants will not be enough to get them off the foot of the table.
Their opponents, on the other hand, have their own pressure to deal with, and will also be desperate for maximum returns at Harry Gwala Stadium, as they seek to stave off the challenge for the league title posed by defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who they are tied with at 50 points with three matches still remaining.
Eric Tinkler up against his former side
One man who will have some inside track on the Buccaneers is Tinkler, who assumed head coach duties at the club for almost three years.
Speaking ahead of the match, the Bafana legend said he wanted a brave effort from his charges.
“In our last game [1-0 defeat to Highlands Park] we struggled to play free football. I think mentally we have a fear of losing, we tend to make mistakes. Against Pirates we have to be fearless, play our normal game and convert those chances.”
Maritzburg are sitting on 20 points in their 26 league matches, where they have managed just four wins, with three coming in their last seven outings.
Maritzburg United remaining fixtures
Following the match against Pirates, they travel to Thohoyandou for a clash against fellow relegation candidates Black Leopards, before a tough task against amother one of Tinkler’s former sides Supersport United.
The Team of Choice then rounds its season off with a visit to fellow basement-dwellers Baroka.