Title race not over by a long shot – Bucs boss

Eric Tinkler. Pic: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Eric Tinkler. Pic: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates’ interim coach Eric Tinkler believes Kaizer Chiefs’ participation in the Caf Champions League will have an impact on who walks away with the Absa Premiership come May.

Tinkler, right, was one of Roger de Sa’s assistant coaches when the Buccaneers reached the final of the Caf Champions League last year where they lost out to Egyptian giants Al-Ahly. Their good run affected the club’s domestic performance in a season they lost two domestic cup finals.

It’s a challenge that he feels will test Amakhosi, paving the way for the Buccaneers to challenge for the league. The Sea Robbers are 10 points behind first-placed Chiefs, but Pirates have two games in hand, carried by momentum after their 2-0 win to Free State Stars on Saturday at Orlando Stadium.

“As long as we keep winning our games, mathematically it is still entirely possible,” Tinkler said.

“There are still a lot of games to go in this league. We have experienced what it is like to play in the Caf Champions League and the pressure that it puts you under.

“Chiefs are going to start finding it difficult. They will start dropping points. It is only natural that it will happen, especially if you saw what happened with Bidvest Wits beating Mamelodi Sundowns.

“I did mention that Wits are one of the title contenders. If the top teams keep taking points off one another than it increases our chances of catching the leaders. So that’s been our objective since the start of the season and it will continue until it is mathematically not possible for us to win the league anymore.”

Vladimir Vermezovic will be in charge of the Buccaneers when they resume their chase of his former employers. He arrived in the countryn on Thursday and should be in charge of his first match when Pirates visit Tuks.

Tinkler is confident the Serbian will take over a team in good spirits.






today in print