The Buccaneers’ failure to lift the Nedbank Cup on Saturday, going down 3-2 to SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, means Tinkler has finished his first full season as Pirates coach without any silverware.
He has been the subject of speculation about his future for almost the entire campaign, with the likes of Hristo Stoichkov and lately Stephen Keshi touted as possible replacements.
Pirates were put to the sword by Dean Furman’s men in a dreadful first-half performance, despite Luvuyo Memela giving the Buccaneers an early lead. It was Furman’s first piece of silverware since arriving from England.
Jeremy Brockie equalised almost immediately with a fine header and Bradley Grobler and Michael Boxall extended the lead, with Pirates’ defending non-existent. A Clayon Daniels own goal narrowed the gap early in the second half, but Pirates could not find an equaliser.
“Individual mistakes let us down,” said Tinkler.
“We planned ahead of the game and we knew their full backs would be looking to get forward and needed to be tracked – the first goal came from not tracking the full back and allowing him to put in a cross. The second one came from a mistake, unfortunately, from Jomo (Rakhale). Our fullback was already on the overlap and he loses the ball. And the third one comes from a long ball with us not tracking the runner.”
SuperSport, by contrast, were understandably ecstatic at the final whistle.
“Credit to the players’ character … what we couldn’t achieve tactically we achieved physically and mentally … they have done it against the hard way, but they have done it, they were fantastic … and can be very proud of themselves,” said coach Stuart Baxter.
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