Jonty Mark
Football Editor
1 minute read
11 Apr 2016
11:40 am

Bartlett praises gallant Tuks

Jonty Mark

Shaun Bartlett praised his team's appetite for the battle after the University of Pretoria grabbed a vital victory in Saturday's relegation six-pointer, storming back to beat Maritzburg United 4-2 at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Shaun Bartlett, coach of the University of Pretoria. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Deolin Mekola’s brilliant strike gave United the lead at half-time, but four goals in 17 minutes after the break put Tuks firmly in charge.

Philani Zulu pulled a goal back for United, while Kurt Lentjies also missed a penalty, but United’s capitulation leaves Ernst Middendorp’s side four points adrift of Jomo Cosmos and Tuks at the bottom, though the Maritzburg side have a game in hand on Bartlett’s men.

“Sometimes a half-time break is just what you need,” Bartlett told SuperSport TV after the game.

“We needed to regroup, I needed to give them some information.”

Whatever “information” he handed out certainly worked as Mpho Maruping headed in, before two clinical strikes from Lennox Baxela put Tuks well in charge. To make matters worse for United, Brian Onyango then put through his own net.

“I think again we showed that fighting spirit, we can score goals, we just need to close out games,” added Bartlett at the end of a week in which Tuks also missed out in a six-goal thriller, losing on penalties to SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup last- 16.

“I’m really happy with the boys for the work they put in today and to bounce back from the disappointment we had on Tuesday.”

Tuks’ next game is against Bloemfontein Celtic on April 17 at Dr Molemela Stadium.

“This was a massive game because it’s direct competition. We’ve got to play Celtic, Cosmos and Polokwane – we need to beat the teams in direct competition with us.”