JOHANNESBURG – SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler says his men are out to end the dominance of their cross-town rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in the Tshwane derby on Saturday afternoon.
It’s been four seasons since the last time SuperSport were triumphant in a Premier League fixture against their city rivals, with the Brazilians thumping them 5-0 at Loftus Versfeld and 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in their two matches in the previous campaign.
“That’s the motivation,” Tinkler said on Thursday. “I have told the players they have an opportunity to change that history. They understand the concept of wanting to start the league on a positive note.
“And I have said there is no better opportunity to do that than playing Sundowns in the first league game of the season, when they are not firing on all cylinders, and neither are we, truth be told.
“But I think it’s a good time to face them. They are a very good team and our efforts must be very high.”
SuperSport got off to an ideal start to the 2017/18 season when they narrowly beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the MTN8 in Durban last weekend.
Sundowns, on the other hand, were eliminated from the competition following defeat to Maritzburg United in their backyard a day later.
The two sides clash on Saturday afternoon in a Tshwane derby that is unbelievably one-sided, with neutrals already predicting a Sundowns win.
“We are all still a little bit rusty because we’ve only just come back from our break. Sundowns are like us in that they are in the second or third week of their pre-season because of the Caf schedule,” said Tinkler, who completed a league double over Sundowns while with Cape Town City last season.
“The players are obviously not at their peak performance as yet. As the season progresses, we will get stronger, and so will they.”