Tinkler challenges SuperSport to reach two semis in his first six weeks

11 August 2017 - 12:23 By Marc Strydom
SuperSport United new coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United formal announcement at Multichoice City Ground Floor on June 08, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SuperSport United new coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United formal announcement at Multichoice City Ground Floor on June 08, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Eric Tinkler has laid down the gauntlet to SuperSport United to try to reach two semifinals within their first six weeks of the 2017-18 season.

SuperSport’s new coach wants to see his side through to the MTN8 semifinals with a win against Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s quarterfinal at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (8.15pm).

Then Tinkler wants SuperSport to beat Zambia’s Zesco United over two legs in the second half of September to reach the Caf Confederation Cup semis.

Former Bafana Bafana‚ Cagliari and Barnsley defensive midfielder Tinkler takes charge of SuperSport with two tough acts to follow.

That of now-Bafana coach Stuart Baxter‚ who steered Matsatsantsa to two cup finals last campaign‚ and won one emphatically‚ 4-1 in 2016-17’s season-ending Nedbank Cup last match against Orlando Pirates.

And his own. Tinkler confirmed himself as one of South Africa’s most exciting young coaches steering Cape Town City‚ with some inspired football‚ to third place in the PSL last season and Telkom Knockout champions – in the final that SuperSport lost.

Matsatsantsa captain Dean Furman said Tinkler’s football at SuperSport can be expected to be similar to Baxter’s in that it is based on transitions‚ though a more expansive version.

“We’re dealing with two different coaches‚ two slightly different philosophies. We saw how exciting Cape Town City were last year – they were definitely one of the teams to watch‚” Furman‚ who plays with a similar grit in defensive midfield for Bafana and SuperSport to what Tinkler did as a player‚ said.

“There was an element of counter-attacking football‚ transition football‚ be quick on the break – and he’s certainly tried to implement that into us.

“We’ve worked hard on his structure and the way he wants to play. There are similarities‚ especially when you’re dealing with similar players.

“But there are certain differences that he’s going to want to see from us‚ and maybe that’s a more expansive way of playing. And hopefully we’ll be able to really implement that as of Saturday.

“It’s good to have a coach who’s been there and done it not only as a coach but as a player – he had a great career and we know how successful he was‚ especially with Bafana.

“And he knows club football on the continent. Going into the Caf Confederation Cup that can be useful.

“And what better person to impart his knowledge on us than someone who’s been there and done it. He’s laid down the gauntlet to us and said that within seven games we can be in two semifinals.

“So it’s not as if we’ve got time to build up into the season. We have to hit the ground running.

“And that’s the challenge that he’s set us for the first month of the season.”

Tinkler‚ after a number of caretaker stints at Orlando Pirates in his first coaching assignments‚ guided the Buccaneers to the 2015 Caf Confederation Cup final‚ where they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel.

ANC Conference 2017
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