Eric Tinkler has defended his decision to use largely the same team over the course of the season-so-far, despite Orlando Pirates’ poor form in the Absa Premiership.
The Buccaneers’ 1-1 draw with Platinum Stars on Saturday was another blip in a domestic campaign that has yet to get going – Pirates have won just three of their 11 league games.
“I think everybody has been given a chance,” said Tinkler.
“If you look back, Tendai (Ndoro) has played a few matches, Qalinge (Thabo) has played. Obviously we want to give everyone an opportunity, but at the same time it is about creating consistency. That is very important as well, having the confidence and believing in the line-up you have. When they are doing well you stick to that line-up.
“With the consistency and form they show, their confidence will grow. But if you keep chopping and changing, switching this and that, how do you expect to see consistency in performances?”
The Pirates coach, meanwhile, remains confident he can transform Pirates’ campaign.
“There were 60 points to play for before this game (Platinum Stars game). The season still has a long way to go and I want to finish as high as possible.
“Do I believe we can do it? Yes I do, I believe it and the players believe it. There could be just one result which would turn things around and that is very important. I need to continue believing it, the way I portray myself is obviously the way the players will respond – that is very important.”
That turnaround could start on Wednesday evening against a University of Pretoria side which has been struggling this season, though Tuks did manage a 1-0 win over fellow relegation candidates Jomo Cosmos on Saturday. That was only Sammy Troughton’s side’s second win of the season and they are second-from-bottom on nine points.
Conversely, if Tinkler can’t win that game, the calls for his head will grow even stronger. The coach’s future is a matter of constant speculation even though he took Pirates to the 2015 Confederation Cup final.
“Do I feel the pressure? Obviously I feel the pressure. I came to this business to succeed, I came to this club to succeed, to win trophies,” said Tinkler.
“When you are in a position that we are currently at lying in the bottom of the league table, it is extremely difficult to get yourself out of that situation. But you’ve got to have the confidence and self-belief in yourself, which I have. As a player, I found myself in that situation on many occasions. I have the experience and I know what it takes to get out of that position,” he added.