Maritzburg coach Tinkler explains rejuvenation of Claasen‚ Kutumela

20 March 2020 - 10:28 By Mark Gleeson
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United Press Conference at PSL Offices on February 08, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United Press Conference at PSL Offices on February 08, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Maritzburg United signed up several out-of-favour footballers over the last 12 months and have turned them into a winning combination‚ which coach Eric Tinkler says is all about giving them responsibility.

Players like Keegan Buchanan‚ Daylon Claassen‚ Thabiso Kutumela‚ Judas Moseamedi and Tebogo Tlolane were all given a new lease on their careers after moving to Maritzburg.

They have all played a major part in the club’s extraordinary turnaround‚ from a relegation-haunted outfit last season to fifth place this season.

“I think it is about giving people responsibility‚” explained Tinkler‚ whose side have claimed 13 of the last 18 points available‚ with the best record of any top-flight team in their last six matches.

“I think it’s important that they need to take ownership of their own game.

“You can always look to blame others for our performances‚ we first need to look at ourselves.

“I think it’s important that they focus on that. We take ownership as a squad‚” he added.

“It’s not only me. Yes‚ I give us direction‚ but everybody needs to believe in that direction and everybody needs to want to reach those targets and those directions.

“I think it shouldn’t be me having to scold players when they are not performing well.

“It needs to be his own colleagues because it becomes clearer than when it comes from me.

“You see that in our squad‚ you see that in training. When someone’s under-performing the team makes sure that he lifts his game.

“If someone is misbehaving‚ the team must take action against the individual. That is something we have tried to bring in here.”

“I’ve always had the belief that if you treat players like men instead of children‚ they’ll be forced to behave like men‚ but if you treat them like children‚ they’re going to behave like children.”

Tinkler said he never liked being treated badly when he was a player.

“When I was in Portugal‚ they had the eye on you 24/7‚” he said of his time spent at Viroria Setubal.

“People were sitting outside my apartment‚ checking me whether I was going out or not. So‚ if they were going to treat me like that‚ of course I was going to go out!

“If you want to treat me like a child‚ I’m going to behave like one‚” he recalled of those days.

“It’s about taking ownership‚” Tinkler added.

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