Tinkler happy with players fitness levels ahead of grueling schedule

08 August 2017 - 12:12 By Tiisetso Malepa
SuperSport United players during the SuperSport United media open day at Megawatt Park on June 21, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SuperSport United players during the SuperSport United media open day at Megawatt Park on June 21, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler is happy with his players' fitness levels ahead of the new season as he prepares for his first match since his appointment to replace Stuart Baxter last month.

Tinkler believes the fact that SuperSport played their last competitive match as recently as July 8 when they advanced to the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederations Cup‚ coupled with a well-timed break given to the players‚ will stand them in good stead for the coming season.

“Ja‚ you know I sat down with our sports scientist Zack and we discussed what is the maximum time we could give the players off and also ensuring that the players don't lose their physical preparation‚” said Tinkler.

“We felt that the period will be sufficient enough and obviously building them back in terms of the intensity of our training sessions‚ we could get them back to the levels that they needed to be at.

“We've played two full 90 minutes games so far with the squad and they've come through that without any complaints.

"So that's very‚ very positive for me but you know‚ truth will only be told come Saturday because obviously there's the other factor that comes into play.”

SuperSport will look to win their maiden MTN8 title when they play two-time winners Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-final stage at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

“It's a competitive match against a big team like Chiefs. So there's a lot of nervousness and anxiety that will also take part and that can lead to quicker fatigue from the players.

Tinkler will hope his charges are fully charged for the new campaign and will be required to hit the ground running from the onset.

In their opening five matches of the new season‚ SuperSport play Chiefs in the MTN8‚ then entertain Mamelodi Sundowns and Chiefs again in their first two league matches.

They will follow that up with back-to-back matches against Zambia's Zesco United in the quarterfinal of the Confederations Cup and could play a further double-leg semi final in the MTN8 should they overcome Chiefs on Saturday.

- TimesLIVE

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