Jeremy Brockie in action for SuperSport United in the Premiership. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - Eric Tinkler looked a man troubled by his thoughts when asked why his trusted striker, Jeremy Brockie, wasn't included in the 18-man squad that drew 1-1 against Maritzburg United in the MTN8 first leg semi-final, on Saturday.

The SuperSport United coach didn’t even bother to come up with some form of excuse to shield his player, surrounding the possibility of the New Zealander joining Mamelodi Sundowns some time this season, should a release clause of a possible R15 million be met between both clubs.

Interestingly enough though, Tinkler just simply directed that question to the club’s CEO, Stan Matthews, adding that he was the only person who could give a suitable response regarding the matter.

When pursued for a comment regarding the matter though, both Matthews and SuperSport’s chairman Khulu Sibiya, were unavailable to take calls. However, as far as whether Brockie will stay or go, it appears it is Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane who has the upper hand over his SuperSport counterpart, Tinkler.

Just two weeks ago, Mosimane publicly stated only recently how much his side needed a natural goal-poacher in the Brockie mould, going to the extent of baptising the player with the nickname ‘Sniper,’ for his sheer class in front of goal.

However, it remains to be seen whether Mosimane will trigger that release clause by January this season as he has promised, in an attempt to have the the striker move to Chloorkop.

Meanwhile, Tinkler expressed his disappointment over his side’s failure to protect their lead in the last 15 minutes of their encounter against the Team of Choice, adding that they need to be more vigilant going into the second leg which will be played in a week’s time (September 9th) at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“Maritzburg are not an easy side to break down because they are very solid in their defensive structure,” Tinkler said. “But I believe we controlled the game pretty well up until the 70th minute. 

"We created good chances and I truly believe we should have been 1-0 up with that set piece we got in the first half. The second half was pretty much the same. We created a whole lot of scoring chances, got the goal, however, we started to tire in around the 75th minute.

“I was expecting that (to happen) because we played two games in the space of five days,” Tinkler added. “We didn’t have a proper pre-season where, I believe, it could have helped us polish a few areas of our game. 

"There were a whole lot of positives to take from this match, though. But what’s important now, is to is to make sure we produce that away goal when we play them (in a week’s time)." 

Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids also heaped praised on f his side for their performance and expressed delight at how they were able to fight their way back into the match. He added that it was important to keep them grounded ahead of the second leg at home, if they were to increase their chances of making it to the final.

“We cannot start assuming that fight is over and done with,” Davids said. “We’ll have to go to Harry Gwala Stadium and make sure we grind out that result. What’s important now for us is to make sure that we reset and try to improve from this performance. I definitely believe we can do better.

“I have a young squad with an average age of 23 years. And that means I have to channel their way of thinking and make sure they do not get overexcited by our recent results,” Davids added in reference to their unbeaten run of four matches into the season .

“The truth is there’s nothing we have achieved. We have to realise it’s only the start of the season and we still have a long way to go. We’ll have to focus, take it game by game.”

The Star

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