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Tinkler not thinking of League title despite purple patch

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The 53-year-old mentor continues to fine-tune his side to be one of the most difficult teams to face on the domestic front, but he feels City aren’t title chasers as yet.

Eric Tinkler, head coach of Cape Town City. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler has ruled his side out of the Premiership title race, despite their rich recent vein of form.

The Citizens climbed to the top of the league standings with their sixth successive league victory over the weekend, only to be displaced by Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.

The Brazilians returned to domestic action for the first time in more than a month to comfortably dispatch neighbours SuperSport United and return to the summit. Sundowns have played four fewer games than second-placed City.

Speaking to the media after City’s last outing in Durban, Tinkler refused to be drawn into title contention discussions.

The 53-year-old mentor continues to fine-tune his side to be one of the most difficult teams to face on the domestic front, but he feels City aren’t title chasers as yet.

“Our objective is that we want to be competitive as a club, we want to see ourselves competing within that top four, top five bracket and that’s our target,” he said.

“Right now we’re just going game by game and we assess after every single game if we achieved our goals or if we have the points we wanted and what it is we need to do in the next game to ensure that we get the next positive result.

“We wait to see whatever happens, happens but (to) say we are title contenders, no.”

Tinkler was the man behind the wheel when City achieved their highest finish in the league in the 2021/22 campaign, as runners-up to Sundowns and qualifying for the CAF Champions League in the process.

City were 16 points off Sundowns in that campaign, one of the biggest gaps between first and second place in the PSL era. The Cape Town-based outfit has managed to turn around what was a slow start to the 2023/24 campaign, having lost four of their opening six fixtures.

They are now the second-most in-form club in the division having lost three matches, drawn one and won six of their last 10, a record only bettered by Sundowns, who have won all nine of their league matches so far.

When quizzed about the details behind his side’s turnaround, Tinkler pointed to sharpness of mind as well as finishing ability.

“A little bit like tonight (against Golden Arrows), you get four or five chances, you’ve got to be putting them at the back of the net,” he said.

He added: “We weren’t playing poorly (at the start of the season), we were actually playing really well. We had the most box entries in the league, we had the most chances in the league but we ended up on the losing side.

“It was very important for us as the technical team to make the players aware that there’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing, it’s just about turning those chances into goals.”

City are back in action on Friday next week when they face fellow Cape side Stellenbosch.

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