Eric Tinkler believes that the Orlando Pirates are in a ‘transition’ period, but still feels they could have come away with victory rather than the 3-2 defeat to SuperSport in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final.
The Buccaneers were an all-conquering side at the start of the decade, winning successive trebles in the 2010/ 11 and 2011/ 12 seasons.
The have reached a succession of cup finals, seven in total, over the last few years, but with the exception of their 2014 Nedbank Cup triumph, the club has come up short at the final hurdle and have not added to their trophy cabinet recently.
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“I think if you look at the squad from the time of two double trebles you will recognise that this team is going through a transformation, a transition phase and a rebuilding phase,” Tinkler said after the defeat in Polokwane to SuperSport.
“That is obvious to everyone, but the demands don’t change. We are still expected to achieve things and I believe still that even in that transition we still could have achieved things.”
The Buccaneers’ tactician also feels that things could have been different on Saturday if his side had not lost focus at crucial moments.
“We looked threatening going forward. It was just individual mistakes that let us down,” he explained.
“We got a goal and immediately after that it is very important that the focus remains there; you plan ahead of the game that their fullbacks will go on the overlaps looking to get forward and need to be tracked.
“The first goal came from not tracking the fullback – allowing him to put in a cross inside the box.
“The second one came from a mistake again unfortunately. Our fullback has already gone on to the overlap and you lose the ball there it leaves you exposed. They hurt us and the third goal came from us ball watching, not tracking the runner. Individual mistakes led to their goals.”