City’s Tinkler views SuperSport clash as a ‘six-pointer’

Eric Tinkler of Cape Town City. | BackpagePix

Eric Tinkler of Cape Town City. | BackpagePix

Published Feb 28, 2024



After Cape Town City and SuperSport United’s running battles in cup competitions recently, coaches Eric Tinkler and Gavin Hunt are singing a tune reminiscent of the Elton John classic, I’m Still Standing.

A week ago, SuperSport defeated City in a Nedbank Cup first-round match in Pretoria. However, City mentor Tinkler has shaken off the setback and is looking at today’s DStv Premiership clash against SuperSport as a “six-pointer” since they are tied on 30 points behind pace-setters Mamelodi Sundowns (39 points).

Eric Tinkler of Cape Town City. | BackpagePix

SuperSport’s run in the CAF Confederation Cup came to a girding halt on Sunday when they played to a draw against Egypt’s Modern Future FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. They fluffed their last chance to challenge for a place in the play-offs, even though they have one pool match to play.

However, after the match Hunt did not dwell too much on the defeat.

Instead, he remarked: “We have a big game on Wednesday in Cape Town against Cape Town City, who are our biggest direct rivals in terms of points.”

Clearly, the depressing outcomes of the recent matches have not disheartened the two coaches who sound pleased that a weight has been taken off their shoulders.

“We have a league match at home against SuperSport and we want to ensure that we maintain our record at home,” said Tinkler, referring to City’s unbeaten Premiership run at home since September.

“Collecting three points will not be easy because SuperSport are a difficult team to play against. We played them recently in the cup and lost on penalties.

“There’s a lot that we learnt from that game. Hopefully we can now go into this game ensuring that we don’t make the same type of mistakes that we made against them in the cup.

“It will be a six-pointer and three points is what’s key for me. We’ll be looking for those three points against them.

“They are level on points with us. We can distance ourselves from them if we get the win. After this game, we can focus on the next game against Stellenbosch (next Tuesday) in the derby.”

Ime Okon of SuperSport United was handed the captain’s armband in Sunday’s match against Modern Future. | BackpagePix

Hunt may have contributed to his side’s Confederation Cup demise by resting his regulars with the City game in mind. He fielded several rookie players and handed the captain’s armband to the 20-year-old defender Ime Okon.

Unleashing all of these youngsters for a Confederation Cup game raised a fair amount of debate at the post-match presser. However, he did say the Premiership is his primary focus.

“I like the CAF experience,” said Hunt.

“It helped us (SuperSport) for the first time and at (now-defunct Bidvest) Wits. You bring in young players through, and they get the experience. Later, you will be better off with these players in the league. We will be much better, and the league should be the focus for us.

“Last year, we came third (in the league) for the first time in many years. We have a big game on Wednesday in Cape Town against Cape Town City, who are our biggest direct rivals in terms of points.”

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