Shaun Bartlett said he was not ready to throw in the towel after the Cape derby loss. At this stage, however, Spurs will need to do something dramatic to arrest the fall from grace.
CAPE Town Spurs’ position is now truly perilous, but their under-siege coach Shaun Bartlett remains the eternal optimist and declared: “There are 23 matches to go and a victory on Wednesday (against SuperSport United) could make a lot of difference.”
After Saturday’s 3-1 loss to cross-town rivals Cape Town City at DHL Stadium, Bartlett said he was not ready to throw in the towel. At this stage, however, Spurs will need to do something dramatic to arrest the fall from grace.
“I’m not someone to just throw in the towel,” said Bartlett. “In my whole life, I’ve always persevered. I’ve always had my back against the wall.
“Nobody gave me a chance. So, I’m always going to try my utmost best. That is my character.
“Where I come from, that is what they taught me to be in this position. I’ve got a very thick skin. I’ve got broad shoulders.
“That’s why I’m carrying this team, and I will continue carrying the team until the decision is made. But that’s something for another day.
“We’ve always been a club that promotes young players and not go too much into the market.
“But sometimes a level-up is maybe too much for certain players.
“So those are things that we have to assess and see where we can make changes.”
Spurs did well to take an early lead. However, once they allowed City back in their game, it was one-way traffic and Spurs slumped to their seventh consecutive loss in the DStv Premiership.
Bartlett’s opposite number Eric Tinkler, the City coach, said he had sympathy for his former Bafana Bafana teammate.
He added that football can be cruel, but he offered Bartlett some advice.
“I said one thing, you must control what you can control and that is your level of professionalism,” said Tinkler.
“What you do every day when you come in and you train your team. You must continue with that belief that what you’re doing is, is right.
“Because the game of football can be cruel, very, very cruel, especially for coaches. So I feel for him.
“I had a conversation the other night about, you see what’s happening at Barcelona, you see what’s happening at Ajax Amsterdam. They are sitting poorly in the league and Barca is now under threat of having to close doors.
“And it’s difficult for those teams to compete when you just using youngsters. That’s just the fact, and development comes through phases, and doesn’t just happen.
“You get phases where a group of players come through, and they are all talented, and they are all mature, and they come into the team, and they integrate quite easily. But then there’s going to be others that take time.”
Spurs play Gavin Hunt’s SuperSport United at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday evening.