CAPE TOWN - SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler and his Cape Town City counterpart, Benni McCarthy, have brushed aside their tiff that occurred seven years ago at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the 2011 Telkom Knockout final.
McCarthy, then an Orlando Pirates’ striker, had to be restrained from accosting Tinkler, who was Bidvest Wits’ assistant coach at the time, in a heated and drama-filled final.
McCarthy went a step further and said that Tinkler was lucky that he didn’t punch him, boasting that he made more money and raked in more achievements in his football career than Tinkler and Roger de Sa.
Tinkler and McCarthy will renew that rivalry in the MTN8 final on Saturday in Durban.
“The focus is not on Eric,” McCarthy said. “What happened, happened, it’s in the past. We’ve all moved on. My focus now is just on my team. We have to be strong and tough, and we have to play with heart. It won’t be easy, but we have enough quality and we have players who can win games.
"SuperSport, under Eric, will be disciplined and organised. It’s going to be tough for us. Eric’s teams are always structured, very well organised, and difficult to break down. But I think we are able to do it.
"We want to take a lot from our games against Wits this season - because Wits and SuperSport are very similar with regards to strength and depth. I’m certainly expecting an entertaining and interesting cup final.”
Tinkler also brushed aside their tiff, arguing that this match isn’t about him and Benni but about the two clubs who are looking to start the season on a winning note.
“That exchange happened because you had two people who don’t like to lose,” Tinkler told the Sunday Independent. “We both have a winning mentality that makes it hard to stomach defeat.
"But I have nothing against Benni. That is water under the bridge. We have been cordial whenever we’ve met each other after that incident.”