Tinkler Takes Measures To Deal With Mazembe Pitch
Eric Tinkler moved SuperSport United’s preparations for their CAF Confederation Cup final to Rustenburg as he looked to familiarise his side with playing on an artificial field.
Matsatsantsa face Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Sunday afternoon at 15h30 as they look to try and get a good result in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the second leg in Tshwane.
Tinkler’s prepared as well as possible by taking his team to Rustenburg in the build up to flying out to the DRC, however their plans did take a hit when their first training session at Stade TP Mazembe had to be cancelled due to their flight being delayed by more than four hours.
Now settled at their hotel in the DRC’s second largest city, Tinkler says that they’ve been discussing ways that they can hurt their opponents when they do battle tomorrow afternoon.
He told the Siya crew, “Today was the first opportunity for us to sit down and actually do an opposition analysis, to give the guys a general idea of TP Mazembe and how they play. We showed them the two games we played against them, and obviously their semifinal.
“I’ve watched about six games of theirs trying to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and today was the first opportunity to make the players aware of what they can do to try and hurt them.
“The mood is good. The players know what to expect because they’ve played them before, but also they obviously know us better the same way that we know them better. How we apply ourselves on the day is going to be very important. It’s a final, it’s not about points.”
Having five players – Dean Furman, Ronwen Williams, Clayton Daniels, Bradley Grobler and Morgan Gould – away on international duty with Bafana didn’t help their cause though.
“One would like the preparation to be full,” he added. “We went to Rustenburg to get the feel of being on an artificial pitch, but we had five key players not there. Five who are more than likely in your starting XI normally.”
Tinkler has decisions to make on Williams, Furman and Daniels as they battle with minor knocks, while injuries kept Thabo Mnyamane and Teboho Mokoena at home.