'Country-fixer' warns league title chasers


With all eyes on the Soweto Derby, Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler believes the league champions will actually be decided by the smaller teams.

The Team of Choice can pride themselves as the team that made the 2019/20 title race interesting again after giving log leaders Kaizer Chiefs hard times this season in both legs.

Recently they went to Gauteng and beat Bidvest Wits and Amakhosi to give the likes of Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns renewed hope of stopping Chiefs from becoming champions for the first time in six years.

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"Yeah I think obviously our results against Chiefs, yes I agree with you the league race is now wide open," Tinkler said on Durban Youth Radio.

"Pirates are on 39 [points] now, they are six points behind and have got the Derby coming up, which if they win that then it becomes three points, so it makes it very, very interesting."

Tinkler also emphasised the importance of getting results against the so-called smaller teams for those who are challenging for the title.

READ: Komphela explains Chiefs' current slump

"But I think realistically, it's going to be decided really for those teams if they can ensure collecting maximum points against so-called small teams to be brutally honest.

"Because in this league, anybody can beat anybody on the day. We saw how Pirates got it hard against Black Leopards and managed to get a result right at the death," he explained.

Maritzburg are still going to face Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium, and Tinkler says those two fixtures will be watched by many teams that will be hoping they can fix the country again.

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"That's what becomes very important, to get those points against smaller teams. We are still going to play Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns and there's still quite a few teams that can still say a lot about those fixtures [laughs]."