Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler has juggled his attackers around to offset the loss of the injured Fagrie Lakay and Thabo Ndoda in a bid to breach the opposition’s defences.
CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler will hope the forthcoming Fifa international window break will allow some of his injured attackers to recover, while working on finding that cutting edge in front of goal again.
After a hectic start to the season, which has already seen City play four matches in a short period of time, the Citizens will not be in action for a fortnight with their next Dstv Premiership game only on Saturday, September 15 against Marumo Gallants.
City have certainly responded well to Tinkler’s training methods and style of play since the former Bafana Bafana hard man returned to Cape Town towards the end of last season for his second spell in charge of the club.
They have been much more organised and structured, particularly in defence, and have also shown great character and grit, particularly when stealing the late equaliser against AmaZulu in the MTN8 quarter-final while also coming back from a goal down against Royal AM last week to eventually take all three points with a 2-1 victory. Both matches were played in KwaZulu-Natal.
However, City have been goal-shy at home, with the Citizens yet to find the back of the net at their alternative home venue, Athlone Stadium, with their league encounter against SuperSport United and Sunday’s first-leg MTN8 semi-final against Swallows ending in goalless stalemates.
Tinkler has juggled his attackers around with new signings striker Khanyisa Mayo and Nigerian midfielder Abdul Jeleel Ajagun being brought into the line-up to offset the loss of the injured Fagrie Lakay and Thabo Ndoda in a bid to breach the opposition’s defences.
City were certainly more creative and fluid in the MTN8 semi against Swallows than in the previous dour encounter against SuperSport, but Ndoda’s silky touches and penetrating passes remain glaringly absent.
Tinkler will be hoping that his playmaker recovers from his hamstring injury for the home clash against Gallants followed by the all-important Western Cape derby against Stellenbosch FC just three days later.
“I thought it was a very dominant performance by us. We knew that Swallows were going to be a very difficult team in terms of their formation and how they play, with their fullbacks going inside,” Tinkler said after the first-leg home semi-final against the Dube Birds.
“We changed our formation slightly to try and catch them. We tried to be a little brave in terms of the players we utilised in this game, very offensive. And I thought we created so many chances, we hit everything, but we just couldn’t get it in the back of the net.
“We hit the post, the goalkeeper had to make a few saves, and clearances off the line from their players. It was just that final third we didn’t get the goal. It was a dominant performance by us, and the only real time that they caused any real threat was on the counter. But I am very happy that the players adapted to the new system, and happy that we kept a clean sheet but we should have won comfortably.”