CAPE TOWN - Eric Tinkler is under no illusions as to the predicament he finds himself in.
After a 2-0 defeat to an inspired Ajax Cape Town at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night, the SuperSport United coach admits that, going forward, there is no room for error; he has to find a solution to the crisis or his job is on the line.
SuperSport, after the highs of winning the MTN 8 this season and making it to the final of the CAF Confederations Cup, have slumped rather badly over the last few months.
They are now mired in 12th position on the 16-team PSL with a measly 26 points, and Tinkler acknowledged the precarious nature of the club’s position.
“There is no job security – you guys should know that,” Tinkler told the media after the loss to Ajax. “Of course, it’s a different scenario to what we achieved early in the season.
"Ultimately, the players respond off me and I have to be brave and accept the responsibility. We have to find ways to pick up maximum points in our final seven games.
“I still have the hunger to get the team out – I have been in this situation before as both a player and a coach. I believe that we have enough depth and quality to get out, but the players have to pitch up.
"You know how it goes in football: when you are good, nobody points fingers; when you are not good, everybody points fingers.
“As we have seen this season, this is a difficult league. Anybody can beat anybody, it’s just all about who pitches up on the day. It’s the harsh reality of where we find ourselves.
"We just have to be mentally strong enough to get out, and that means getting a result in our next fixture against Maritzburg. There is no room for complacency and we just have to be better going forward.
"We can’t keep making the same mistakes week after week.”
Tinkler, though, gave credit to Ajax for the manner in which they approached the game in the opening half hour.
“Ajax started brighter than us,” he said. “They played with a lot more aggression and speed and we struggled to get out.
"There was great motivation from them to go at us, especially with the pace of (Yannick) Zakri and (Fagrie) Lakay, while we allowed them out too easily.
"But we weathered the storm, got into the game and started to maintain possession. We started to create opportunities, but there was still no end-product.
"Early on in the second half, after everything we spoke of at half-time, we allowed Fagrie (Lakay) in to score and, from there, we were chasing the game.”