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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

‘Football is a cruel game’: Tinkler on Bartlett’s sacking

Bartlett was sacked as the Urban Warriors coach on Monday.

Eric Tinkler has highlighted the demands of being a coach in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) without having the luxury of time after his former Bafana Bafana teammate Shaun Bartlett was shown the door at Cape Town Spurs.

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Spurs’ return to top-flight football has been a nightmare so far. The honeymoon of gaining promotion back to the premier division three months ago is a distant memory.

Bartlett was sacked as the Urban Warriors coach on Monday, two days after Tinkler’s men ironically handed Spurs their seventh straight defeat in the DStv Premiership.

“Football is a cruel game, you’re only as good as your last game and that’s a fact,” Tinkler said following the 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday.

“Shaun has done a fantastic job. He got them promoted back to the PSL and was unfortunate not to get the results, this is how football is. It has happened to me in the last three seasons after a poor start and there is pressure but you get a win and it changes everything so we understand this as coaches.

“It’s part and parcel of our jobs nowadays. The expectations and demands are a lot higher. For some fans it’s not because they love the club, some of them are now putting money on their club to win, hard-earned money. So the anger stems even further so this is no longer (just) a game, this is a business and I think that is just the harsh reality.”

Meanwhile, Tinkler was full of praise of Khanyisa Mayo, who has rediscovered the form that earned him the joint top-scorer award he shared with Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile after they both ended with figures of 12 league goals last season.

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The son of Chiefs legend Patrick Mayo scored the only goal of the match on Tuesday against Amakhosi to take his overall tally to four goals this campaign.

“His work ethic has improved immensely and he’s not reactive. That was his problem in the first couple of games,”Tinkler said about his star striker.

“Now he’s more active, sharp and aware of where he should be going and the spaces he should be (occupying) and he’s gambling a little bit more. The most important thing is that his work ethic is back to what it was before.”

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