De Sa and Tinkler have been mates since their playing days with Bafana Bafana, and Tinkler was De Sa’s assistant coach at both Bidvest Wits and Pirates. The two chat all the time, but this week their minds have been focused on the meeting at Orlando Stadium.
“We talk most weeks, but this week we won’t talk,” said De Sa today.
“We usually have a chat and a good laugh but now we won’t talk until after the game. But it is just a game.”
De Sa took over at the Urban Warriors only a few weeks after quitting Pirates at the beginning of this year. And in his first full season in charge he has done well, guiding Ajax to fourth in the league table thus far.
The Cape Town side have already met Pirates at Orlando Stadium once this year, going down 4-1 in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals at the end of October.
“We got hammered 4-1, it wasn’t a very good reunion, in that swimming pool,” joked De Sa about the deluge of rain that fell on Orlando that evening.
“This time we are bringing our armbands in case they allow the game to go on!”
Ajax will be without midfielder Bantu Mzwakali and defender Abbubaker Mobara for the game against Pirates, both injured in the 4-2 defeat to Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night.
“We are struggling with injuries but it is the same for everyone. It is no good complaining,” said De Sa.