Pirates to Tinkler with line-up

Eric Tinkler. Pic: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Following Orlando Pirates’ shock Premiership defeat to Polokwane City on Saturday, coach Eric Tinkler says the Buccaneers will look to change their approach as they prepare for Tuesday’s league clash with Ajax Cape Town at Athlone Stadium.

“Going to Ajax will be a tougher task… we don’t have a great record away to them, but in football history [that] counts for very little,” Tinkler said ahead of the game.

“We will change our approach and I am confident we will get something out of that match.”

Pirates have fallen off the pace and are in danger of exiting the race for league honours, but Tinkler believes the Soweto giants will bounce back from the defeat over the weekend and emerge a better team as a result.

“Losing the match in the manner we did is a bit sad, but we have to keep playing and try to win the next match,” the caretaker coach said.

“We could have avoided the loss had our players converted the chances. It was a tough match. I think we could have got a result.”

Tinkler has been in charge of Pirates since the departure of former coach Roger de Sa, who announced his resignation on the last day of January, due to personal reasons.

Tinkler’s reign, however, is already due for an abrupt ending, with Pirates announcing on Friday that former Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic would be taking over as soon as he received a work permit.

Vermezovic will be tasked with taking the wilting seventh-placed Sea Robbers out of mid-table obscurity, and ensuring that the team is in a position, come the end of the season, to challenge log-leading Kaizer Chiefs, as well as the rest of the chasing pack.

Pirates still have four games in hand over Chiefs, following a host of postponed Premiership fixtures due to their participation in the Caf Champions League last year, and could yet climb as high as third when their games have been completed.

Ajax, meanwhile, also head into Tuesday’s encounter with a cloud of uncertainty still remaining over their heads as the Cape Town club awaits the arrival of a new head coach.

Mushin Ertugral stepped down as coach last month, with De Sa emerging as the favourite to take over in the Cape.

Assistant coach Ian Taylor, who is in charge until the new coach arrives, said his Urban Warriors outfit would be in for another tough assignment in midweek, following a narrow 3-2 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns over the weekend.

“It’s always difficult coming to Cape Town to play Ajax,” Taylor said in anticipation of the visiting Pirates team.

“We like to play good football at home. Pirates are similar to Sundowns, they have a lot of quality players.

“When [Pirates] turn it on, they certainly can turn it on. We know what to expect and we don’t really need to motivate players for a game like this at home.”


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