Eric Tinkler wants Cape Town City to ’play without fear’ against Mamelodi Sundowns
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Cape Town - Eric Tinkler is hoping his Cape Town City charges return from a couple of days off mentally refreshed for their plum Dstv Premiership clash against champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Tinkler was forced to endure an abject display from City in their previous game against AmaZulu when the Citizens went down 2-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. It was City's second consecutive defeat at Durban's impressive former 2010 World Cup venue after an agonizing MTN8 final penalty shootout loss to Sundowns there just a week earlier.
The former Bafana hard man believes his players were flat against the Usuthu due to the mental toll of the MTN8 final loss, but now wants them to get back on the saddle.
"Obviously we were very disappointed with the performance and result against AmaZulu. We could say it was the back end of a tough week after losing the MTN8 final, possibly psychologically the players weren't in the right space but I don't think we can use that as an excuse. Our performance against AmaZulu was simply not good enough.," Tinkler said.
"We have given the players a couple of days off to hopefully put whats in the past in the past. And forget about the MTN8 and move on now and focus on the next eight games.
"We have explained to the players about the importance of getting back to where we were before and during that game against Mamelodi Sundowns. The importantance of putting on such a good performance against Sundowns and then not managing to do that against AmaZulu. That's the disappointment."
City went toe-to-toe with Sundowns in that MTN8 final, showing great character to equalise and then take the game all to way to the lottery of a shootout. At no stage were they intimidated by the four-times successive league champions and showed they could take the game to the Brazilians through their own attacking gameplan.
Tinkler is hoping to see this City team - and not the fatigued outfit that played against AmaZulu - emerge from the dugout when they host the Masandawana at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday at 5:30pm.
"We wanting to see a good response from them leading into this game," he said. "Its another tough game - Sundowns at home - but we are home and we need to dictate, be positive and we need to play without fear to get back to winning ways. It is very important."