JOHANNESBURG – Supersport United CEO Stan Matthews has revealed that the club has already been flooded with CVs of coaches desperate to replace Eric Tinkler, but he hopes caretaker Kaitano Tembo steps ups in the remaining six PSL matches to have a chance of filling the vacant post.
Tinkler resigned last Friday following pressure from Matthews and the board to improve the woeful results that had dragged Matsatsantsa into the relegation zone after two wins in 14 matches.
Tembo was an assistant to Tinkler, and Stuart Baxter before.
“We have given the job (in the interim) to Kaitano and I think that for him as a person we need to keep that process and door open,” Matthews said yesterday.
“If he delivers he would surely be a favourite candidate come June and the off season when we have to look for a permanent appointment for next season. He has stepped in a few times as caretaker coach and I think now is a moment of truth in his career. This is an opportunity to see if he is interested in the job first. This will be the longest spell he has had in charge as an interim coach.”
Tembo, 47, was roped in to hold the fort temporarily in August 2014 after Cavin Johnson was also sacked for poor results and later replaced by Gordon Igesund, who was fresh off a disappointing spell as national team coach.
“I thought Kaitano started well on Saturday (goalless draw against Maritzburg United).We were very pleased with what we saw. We will look at the CVs, narrow them down, and Kaitano’s name will be there near the top.”
SuperSport are currently 13th, three points ahead of Ajax Cape Town, who are in a relegation play-off spot.
The official line is that Tinkler resigned after several discussions with his bosses about the poor results, but Matthews suggested he would have been fired if he didn’t offer to walk away.
“We did put pressure on Eric,” the SuperSport CEO explained. “There were a lot of boxes that Eric ticked, but clearly in the dressing room with the players the chemistry wasn’t there. There were two times that we had contractual capacity to dismiss Eric after he didn’t meet his points-target. And we chose not to do that because we also understood that it was fatigue and a lot of other areas that contributed. But in the end it was his job to manage.”
Tinkler, who was lured away from Cape Town City after winning the Telkom Knockout and finishing in third place last season, won the MTN8 earlier in the campaign with SuperSport and helped them reach the final of the CAF Confederation Cup, but lost over two legs to TP Mazembe.
His men couldn’t recover from that busy schedule and capitulated by the end of November and kept sliding down the league table.
Kaitano will lead them again tonight in Angola for the first leg of their Confederation Cup group stage play-off tie away to Petro de Luanda, with the return match to follow some 10 days later.
Tinkler had made it clear his priority was to try and move up the league table instead of attempting to go all the way again in the continental tournament. It’s likely that Tembo has been given the same mandate with the situation so dire.