Tinkler senses guillotine after long winless streak

CAPE Town City coach Eric Tinkler is sensing the axe after the wins have dried up this year. | AYANDA NDAMANE Independent Newspapers

CAPE Town City coach Eric Tinkler is sensing the axe after the wins have dried up this year. | AYANDA NDAMANE Independent Newspapers

Published May 3, 2024


CAPE Town City coach Eric Tinkler knows the cut-throat football culture all too well, and has confirmed that by saying: “I’ve been in this situation before, many times ...”

In the wake of City’s 10-match winless Premiership streak this calendar year, Tinkler has a sense the guillotine could soon be hovering menacingly over him.

“I can’t worry about the guillotine coming. Somewhere along the line, it will come,” said Tinkler at Wednesday’s media conference after his team’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Orlando Pirates at the Cape Town Stadium.

The hacks at the post-match presser were peppering Tinkler with various questions and at times he was understandably uneasy. It cannot be comfortable answering questions about a team that hasn’t won a Premiership game five months into 2024.

“I think in the first half we contained them extremely well,” said Tinkler. “I think we started to frustrate them. The longer the half went on, the more difficult it was for them to penetrate.

“(Goalkeeper) Darren (Keet) didn’t have to make a save in that first half.

“It was just us on the ball. We didn’t commit more in attack with two strikers like we had hoped.

“We didn’t create many chances, but I was quite happy with the team’s performance in the first half. We managed to keep (the score) 0-0 and frustrate a quality team like Pirates.

“I took a bit of a gamble to make a change at half-time. I thought we needed to be better on the ball in attack.

“In the end, it was the quality that Pirates possessed in the second half. There were two opportunities and two goals. That’s the quality that they have, and we find ourselves on the losing side.”

At this rate, City’s chances of securing a top-eight berth must be in doubt, and the club’s winless streak has been a great cause for concern.

“We’ll keep fighting for a top-eight (finish),” said Tinkler, adding that results are affecting everyone at the club.

“It’s affecting everyone, not just the players, but everyone at the club.

“But we always believe that we’re one win away from turning it around. And that’s what has to continue.

“Getting that one win under the belt will turn things around. That’s the one thing I am is a fighter. I’ll continue fighting every day to see if the next win comes.

“I need to worry about the controllable (things). Right now, I’m in charge. I carry on being in charge. It’s the unfortunate reality of being a coach. When the results are not coming, the ball is going to be in your hands.

“You know, blame comes on you (the coach). The blame never falls on the players. It falls on the coach.”

As a result of the team’s poor run, the club management had been considering Tinkler’s position at the club. He said he had discussions with the management over his future.

“We’ve been discussing this for a long, long time,” said Tinkler.

“It wasn’t just this last week or the week before. We’ve had this discussion for a long, long time.”

This weekend, City have been reduced to Nedbank Cup semi-final spectators, but will return to action next Tuesday when they host Moroka Swallows.