Strictly business for Tinkler

SuperSport coach puts feelings aside ahead of MTN8 showdown with former team City

SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler says there will be no room for sentiment when he comes faceto-face with his former team Cape Town City in the MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow.

Tinkler coached Cape Town City in their first PSL campaign last season, helping them to a respectable third-place finish and also to Telkom Knockout success‚ earning many admirers.

“There is no sentiment because if you are a professional‚ you move on.

“It is about SuperSport United and winning things for them now‚” the former Bafana Bafana defensive midfielder said as United readied for a clash that has the ingredients to be a thriller.

“We are going there with the attitude and mentality that we want to win‚ and if that happens we will celebrate with humility.

“At the end of the match we will still be friends regardless of what happened.”

Tinkler‚ now in his third full season as a PSL coach after his time at Orlando Pirates and City‚ dismissed suggestions that he would have an edge over former Bafana teammate Benni McCarthy‚ who is in his first season as head coach of the Cape side.

“Stuart Baxter left a very good foundation here at SuperSport United and that is one of the main reasons I chose to come here – because of the quality of personnel at the club‚” the SuperSport coach said.

“But at the same time, I am bringing something different and new to the club and I have my own beliefs and philosophy.

“It will be the same at Cape Town City with Benni‚ who will have a different view on how he wants to play. I have seen that and it is fairly different from the way we were playing.

“He has changed the squad a little bit‚ but it is an advantage that I know the strengths and weaknesses of the players who were in the City squad last season‚ and I will pass that information on to my players.”

Tinkler revealed that apart from long-term injury casualties Onismor Bhasera and Thato Mokeke‚ he had a clean bill of health going into the final.

“Everybody is fit and raring to go – the guys who came back from the national team are all good. Bradley Grobler had a bit of a knock on the ankle, but he is fine. Morgan Gould‚ Clayton Daniels and Ronwen Williams are good.

“Having all the players fit gives me a bit of a headache in terms of selection and it makes my job a bit harder, but that is a good problem to have.”

The Premier Soccer League has made an assurance that the pitch will be playable following the storms and floods that ravaged Durban this week.

The PSL said: “[We] would like to reassure football supporters that the MTN8 final is still on.

“The PSL has been in constant contact with the [stadium] management to assess the state of the stadium and the playing surface.

“The league is satisfied the pitch will be playable and the final will kick off at 7pm as scheduled.” The weather forecast for Durban for the next two days is for partly cloudy conditions, with no rain tomorrow.

City and SuperSport are both chasing their second trophy in two seasons. Last season City won the Telkom Knockout and SuperSport the Nedbank Cup.

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