The Buccaneers lost 2-0 to Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night, damaging their chances of getting the runners-up spot that will secure them a place in the 2016 Caf Champions League. Wits, also chasing down Champions League qualification, were a goal up inside the second minute and had doubled that lead by the 16th minute.
Pirates were also slow out of the blocks last week, where a poor first half-hour contributed to a 3-3 draw at home to Platinum stars. The Buccaneers must surely win their final four league fixtures to stand any chance of finishing second, a task unlikely to be helped by their continued participation in the Caf Confederation Cup. Pirates must travel to Gabon via Europe tomorrow to play CF Mounana on Sunday, and will then return again via Europe in time to play University of Pretoria in a league match next Friday.
That game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but has been switched because of the time it will take the squad to get back from Gabon. “Have a look at the fixtures and ask yourself,” said Tinkler when questioned on Pirates’ slow beginings to games. “We travel to Africa, get back on Wednesday and play again on Friday. I have one day to work with the boys … the fixture congestion is crazy. We try and give the guys as much recuperation as possible, but we do need to start looking at the fixture list and asking ourselves questions. People want to come out and watch entertaining football and maybe we could be harming that.
“At Pirates these guys have to gear themselves up to win every week, that is the expectation every time they come out to play. They need to be physically and tactically well-prepared. But people also forget about the emotional and psychological side of the game, what it takes to get yourself into that frame of mind.”
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