DURBAN – SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler has questioned his players’ mentality against struggling Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori collected three points out of the possible nine in their week-long trip to KwaZulu-Natal.
They lost against Lamontville Golden Arrows and AmaZulu, who were both on long winless streaks – 11 and seven respectively.
The only maximum points they collected in KZN came against the high-flying Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium midweek. “That was the worry ahead of the game (the players’ approach), and this is what I explained to the players.
“They got the victory against Maritzburg United, and it was a very important victory, but I knew that today’s game was going to be even tougher.
“This is a team that is fighting for their lives, and they were going to come out hungry.
“What we faced today is exactly what we faced against Bidvest Wits in the first half. They showed more hunger and desire than us.
“That’s the concern I have with the team right now. We need to be showing a lot more hunger and desire,” Tinkler said.
Given their poor results, SuperSport are slowly getting sucked into the relegation battle. They have collected a mere 20 points from 16 league outings.
“I don’t know how far this team can go. That’s the question I’m also asking myself.
“That first-half performance is not what is expected from the team of our standard. Obviously we need to ask ourselves a lot of questions,” Tinkler lamented.
The three-time league champions will next host Polokwane City at Atteridgeville’s Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.30pm kickoff).
“We don’t have much time to prepare for games. But we have to try and bounce back. We don’t have a lot of time to try and fix these individual errors that we are having.
“The best we can do is to talk to the players and make them realise that that they should not be making those errors, as we don’t enough time to fix them on the field,” Tinkler elaborated.
Looking back at the match, he believes they gifted Usuthu the win. “Our first-half performance was not good enough. Both goals came from our errors, and that is simply unacceptable.
“We got a lot better in the second half, and we had great chances to equalise. We missed the penalty, we missed the header and had we scored both, we were back in the game.”
He admits though that it was just not their day.
“We could have played another 360 minutes and I don’t think we would have scored. Their keeper made some good saves. So essentially, the first-half performance led to our situation,” Tinkler concluded.