Eric Tinkler has got a knack of winning in the cup. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Eric Tinkler has developed a knack of reaching major cup finals as a head coach and has now revealed his recipe for success in the last five years.

The Maritzburg United boss got his breakthrough when he was at Orlando Pirates in 2015/16, reaching two cup finals in his debut season as the head coach of the Buccaneers but he lost against Etoile du Sahel in the Caf Confederation Cup final and to Supersport United in the Nedbank Cup final.

At Cape Town City he inspired them to the Telkom Knockout triumph. The following season he joined Matsatsantsa a Pitori where he captured the MTN8 crown and was defeated in the Caf Confederation Cup final.

On Friday, he will be looking to lead the Team of Choice into the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout when they welcome Highlands Park at Pietermaritzburg’s Harry Gwala Stadium at 8pm.

Tinkler shared his approach to cup finals.

“Cup competitions are much easier than the league. The league campaign is long. It takes 30 games to complete. Telkom Knockout is probably the easiest Cup to try and win because it is only four matches. You can create a positive mentality from the players. If you manage to knock out some of the more favoured teams at the beginning of the competition, you stand a greater chance of winning that competition,” said Tinkler.

The Team of Choice have already dumped out tournament favourites Bidvest Wits.

“I always say to the players that if you want to achieve things and to win trophies, you’ve got to be prepared to beat everybody irrespective of who you come up against. You can psyche up the players for knockout games.

“The thing about the Telkom Knockout is that it comes during the period where there’s a lot of league matches. That puts a lot of stress and strain on teams and it is about looking to take advantage of that situation.

“Highlands are a prime example. They play tonight (today) and face us on Friday. We need to turn that into our advantage,” said Tinkler.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury