Tinkler: We're going to target Sirino

Telkom Knockout

Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler admits his side will look to use every advantage they can to win the Telkom Knockout against Mamelodi Sundowns, even playing on the weakness of Gaston Sirino.

SuperSport United infamously got into the Uruguayan's head in the MTN8 semifinals earlier this season, causing the midfielder to lose his cool, lash out, and earn himself a red card.

The diminutive Sundowns playmaker is still facing assault charges for those actions and is likely to be suspended, but while his case continues to drag on due to "stress" on the part of the player, he is available for the cup final.

Tinkler admits his side may have to use Sirino's temperament problem to their advantage.

READ: Tinkler takes sly swipe at Chiefs

"Sirino is temperamental you know, that's the way he plays, so if we can try to utilise that to our advantage then we will try to do that," he revealed.

"But he's got a lot of qualities. For me he's been the most influential player for them so far this season and has taken over that mantle from [Themba] Zwane, and I'm not taking away from Zwane's quality.

"When he gets back to his full fitness we know the quality he has but Sirino is one player we earmark as being a major threat going forward when they are in attack."

Tinkler doubts whether Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane will field Zwane from the start at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"It's going to be questionable whether Themba Zwane will start or not to be brutally honest because he was out for a quite a while," Tinkler said.

"I think against Stellenbosch he played the full 90 minutes, so it will be questionable whether he will be in that starting line-up.

"In my opinion right now the most influential player for them has actually been Sirino and he's back, he didn't play last [Wednesday] night. Hlompho Kekana, Andile Jali, Thapelo Morena, [Tebogo] Langerman were all rested, key players for them.

"[Mauricio] Affonso, there were rumours that he was injured, I saw him come up last night so you will see a strong team from Mamelodi Sundowns.

"They have a lot of depth, a lot of options and choices that Pitso has at his disposal but at the same time he's a man who has a lot of belief in not changing a lot.

"But looking at the Stellenbosch game he's taking this competition very seriously because he rested a lot of key players."

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