DURBAN - As much as SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler is lokking forward to a third successive cup final his focus is on the next opponent instead of their potential MTN8 final rival.
Sunday's semi-final second leg clash between his former clubs Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City in Johannesburg was of secondary importance after he guided SuperSport to victory over Maritzburg United on Saturday night in the Midlands. Tinkler’s charges outgunned the home side 2-0 for an aggregate 3-1 semi-final win courtesy of a first half headed double by New Zealander Jeremy Brockie.
The result earned Tinkler a third straight knockout final appearance. Last season he lifted the Telkom Knockout when Cape Town City beat SuperSport, and the previous campaign he lost the Nedbank Cup final to the Pretoria side while in charge of Orlando Pirates.
However his attention was more on Tuesday night’s Absa Premiership encounter against Platinum Stars than on the other cup semi.
“The target was to get to the final; I wanted to start on the right foot and I’m happy to achieve it," he said. “I’m not focused on the final, the focus is on Platinum Stars on Tuesday. They have a new coach so they’ll be highly motivated. We’ll turn our focus to the final when it comes.
“This month is a big one with potentially eight games that we’ll be involved in, so we need to assess the players carefully, ensure there’s good recovery between games and make sure everyone is ready to contribute.”
One player whose contribution was not in doubt was Brockie. The Kiwi international missed the first leg of the semi against Maritzburg after he requested to be placed on transfer. His double in the second leg put to rest questions about his focus and commitment, after his request was turned down.
“I put the Brockie issue to bed a long time ago and he did that as well. He’s been very very good in training, very professional, showed a lot of maturity, and he’s understood that a move will come. We know his qualities and he showed that again, which is good for him and for us,” Tinkler added.
By the time they face Zambian outfit Zesco United in the CAF Confederation Cup next weekend striker Thabo Mnyamane should be back to join the attack.
Meanwhile Maritzburg will get a chance to bounce back from the cup exit when they tackle AmaZulu in the league for a KwaZulu-Natal derby in Durban on Tuesday night.
The Midlands side will be without Cameroonian playmaker Yazid Atouba who was sent off on debut Saturday night.