CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler will not be using Friday’s DStv Premiership clash against Moroka Swallows as a dress-rehearsal for next week’s MTN8 semi-final.
City and Swallows are familiar foes, having already met in the MTN8 first-leg semi-final this season, and now face each other twice within a space of a week. The teams played to a goalless draw in the first-leg at Cape Town Stadium last month.
But Tinkler cannot be concerned with the lucrative knockout competition right now. His team have endured a pain-staking week after their eKapa derby loss to Stellenbosch FC at Athlone Stadium last weekend and will need to find a way to bounce back against the Dube Birds.
Tinkler prides himself on the organisation and stability that his teams possess, especially in terms of their defensive structure and alignment. However, this all went awry against Stellies with City conceding the opening goal from a set-piece, while the other two were on the transition.
The former Bafana Bafana hard man was livid at the outcome and has been putting his team through their paces on the Observatory training pitch this week in a bid to rectify their mistakes.
“We obviously have Moroka Swallows in a league game and then in five days time in the MTN8, but this league match is our priority right now,” Tinkler said.
“We want to bounce back after the loss against Stellenbosch. It was a disappointing performance, particularly in terms of how we conceded the goals. It’s obviously an area that we have worked on this week.
“We’re looking to improve our defensive strategy. We also want to bring a sense of positivity to the team, showing them where we have done good things and put on good performances thus far this season.”
Swallows, meanwhile, have problems of their own with coach Brandon Truter on leave for the next few games. Truter will miss the two clashes against City and the clash against Mamelodi Sundowns with assistant coach Simo Ddladla taking charge.
“There has been a coaching change at Swallows, so we don’t know what that will bring. Preparation has been difficult because you don’t know what the new coach is going to bring in,” Tinkler said.
“But we need to return to winning ways and Moroka Swallows stand in our way of doing that. We have to go there with a positive mindset, positive work rate. It is going to be tough away from home, but we need to try and secure the three points.”