Tinkler: Don't knock 'em when they're down. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Supersport United coach Eric Tinkler will not read his players the riot act despite them continuing to only play well in patches before going to sleep in crucial moments.

Tinkler, instead, plans to shower his players with love to help them get out of the slump that has seen Matsatsantsa a Pitori win only two of their last 14 matches. 

SuperSport once again looked good in patches on Wednesday at Lucas Moripe Stadium. They didn’t make the most of their period of dominance and AmaZulu punished them for that with a defeat that condemned Matsatsantsa into the relegation dogfight.

“What we can do is to try and make the players aware of their mistakes, try and rectify them in the little bit of training that we have which isn’t a hell of a lot right now,” Tinkler said. “At the same time you don’t want to be hammering the team for the mistakes because you already know that the morale and confidence is low. 

So what you have to try and do is be upbeat but also remind them of the errors because if we can limit them at least we are collecting one point. We didn’t manage to do that against AmaZulu. But like I said, that’s not where the problem lies. The problem lies upfront. We are not putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Matsatsantsa have scored just seven goals from their last 15 matches. To remedy that they signed Evans Rusike from Maritzburg United who started before the ink on his contract had even dried. The big question is will the Zimbabwean forward be the answer to their problems?

“I think he is. I saw good moments,” Tinkler said. “He had two great chances in the first half. Credit must also go to the (AmaZulu) goalkeeper (Siyabonga Mbatha).”

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What has hurt SuperSport the most is that they haven’t had much time for introspection with games coming thick and fast.

“The spirit is still there. I know what they are capable of because what you see at training is not what you’re seeing during the game,” Tinkler said.

“A day before we faced AmaZulu you could see that everyone was in a good mood because they saw Rusike arriving. The energy was good. But in the good you could see nervousness and anxiety. It’s that emotion that I am talking about. Players are feeling that. 

They’re feeling that on top of two seasons of football. The boys need to recharge their batteries. And they haven’t had that for two years. That’s what we are faced with. It’s not me trying to make excuses, I am just trying to make you understand a little bit better what we face as coaches when it comes to dealing with these things.”

The Star

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