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Wed May 25 05:22:22 SAST 2016

Orlando Pirates' embattled coach Eric Tinkler gets chairman Irvin Khoza's backing

Marc Strydom | 28 January, 2016 00:23
Khoza said Pirates had struggled to recover from a gruelling run to the CAF Confederation Cup final. File photo
Image by: MOEKETSI MOTICOE

Orlando Pirates will give coach Eric Tinkler their support and will soldier on, Buccaneers chairman Irvin Khoza said yesterday, though he did add the precautionary and ominous proviso, "for now".

Pirates are battling in a dismal 11th place in the Absa Premiership at the halfway stage and speculation around Tinkler's job has mounted, especially after the weekend's 1-0 defeat against third-last Jomo Cosmos in Potchefstroom.

On Saturday Pirates face Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby, a match known to have made or broken the careers of coaches of both teams.

Khoza said Pirates had struggled to recover from a gruelling run to the CAF Confederation Cup final.

The Bucs chairman believes two continental finals in three years - Bucs also reached the 2013 Champions League last match - have finally taken a toll on the team.

Khoza said fan passions run high, especially when a big team like Pirates found itself in the bottom half of the table.

"We understand that supporters want to win. They don't analyse the game like we do. Because football is about emotions," he said.

"We understand that they take it personally. But we had a meeting with the coach and assured him of our support."

Kaizer Chiefs fans calling for Steve Komphela to be fired should forget about it.

Amakhosi chairman Kaizer Motaung said supporters should be educated, as he backed Komphela as the man for the job at Naturena.

He gave an example of how Pitso Mosimane has turned things around at Mamelodi Sundowns after some fans were calling for the former Bafana Bafana coach to be axed early in the season.

Amakhosi are without a trophy this season and they've been inconsistent in the Absa Premiership.

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