Chippa warned to work twice as hard

Upcoming premiership matches must be treated as cup finals – Tinkler

Eric Tinkler
Eric Tinkler
Image: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

Chippa United coach Eric Tinkler will treat his team’s upcoming Absa Premiership fixtures against Maritzburg United and AmaZulu like cup matches.

Chippa play Maritzburg at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on November 27 and three days later host AmaZulu at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Port Elizabeth professional soccer side have emerged from three gruelling matches, against Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.

Despite not getting maximum points in those matches after putting on a decent show, Tinkler has already warned his players to work twice as hard in their next two matches.

“I explained to the players those two games are going to be [much] tougher than this [Chiefs game],” the coach said in a post-match media briefing after the 0-0 draw with Chiefs.

“This was an opportunity for us to collect three points.

“This is what I said to them. Do not expect the games against Maritzburg and AmaZulu to be easy ones. They are direct rivals right now,” Tinkler said.

“I have watched Maritzburg. They are a hardworking, motivated team and they are also trying to get themselves out of the position they find themselves in.

“Those are going to be two cup finals, for us very important games.”

Chippa have two weeks to prepare for both matches but the coach is not pleased with the off-time between games.

“When I arrived, yes, the breaks helped, but right now this period is difficult.

“Again we are off until the 27th and it is a long time that you have to keep the guys active and busy. The biggest challenge that we have in PE is that we don’t have any opposition in PE to play friendlies against – if we were in Johannesburg I could play against Wits, Pirates or Highlands.

“I don’t have anybody to play against in PE and the closest I can get is an ABC Motsepe team and you are going to beat them 3-0, 4-0. How has that helped you?

“It hasn’t helped you [with] anything, it is not the same level as playing a competitive PSL game.”

Chippa are 13th on the log with nine points from 10 matches. They have been without a win in four consecutive league matches.

But the coach is determined his troops will progress up the log this season, saying they just need to be unwavering.

“The challenge for me has been getting that mentality right. [It] needs to be correct – because the talent is there.”