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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Tinkler warns players against using City for bigger clubs

'I think the one thing is that players shouldn't be seeing us as a stepping stone to something better only,' Tinkler cautioned.

Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler has warned players who see the club as a stepping stone to greener pastures. The Citizens have in the past sold some of their best assets to DStv Premiership rivals.

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So highly competitive is the Bafana Bafana legend that he believes City should be challenging for league honours. The club from the Mother City finished in fifth position on the log standings.

“I think the one thing is that players shouldn’t be seeing us as a stepping stone to something better only,” Tinkler cautioned.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go on to bigger things but understand that we’ve brought you to the club because we’re a club that wants to win things and I think that mentality has to change. You must understand that when you want to come to Cape Town City, we’re a club that wants to finish in the top four, we want to get into cup finals and we’re a club that wants to compete for the league.

“If you do all of that, you’ll still get the opportunity to go even higher but the be-all should be that you’re playing for Cape Town City and you want to win things. I think that’s where sometimes we’ve lost personnel or people that have left the club to bigger things that should’ve given more. We have to get them into the right mentality and make them aware that we’re not a small club and that we’re an ambitious club.”

Sundowns slayers

City finished the season with flourish by becoming the only club to defeat Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2023-2024 season. The 1-0 win over the champions meant they finished on 45 points, behind Sekhukhune United who had a slightly better goal difference.

“We haven’t had the type of season that we aspired to have. Last season we finished on 45 points and this season we again finished on 45,” Tinkler reflected.

“The pressure that was on me this season had no comparison to the pressure of last season and yet we finished with the same points. We went through a very rough patch where we didn’t perform . A lot of that is down to not having the right mentality, desire and not looking to play with energy and intensity.

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 “Yes, we did lose quite a few players and I thought we lacked certain qualities this season but the work from the technical team was exceptional to finish where we finished. At some stage, we went eight or nine games without a win so credit to the chairman because he continued with us and believed in us and you don’t see that happen in this country.”