Tinkler eager to keep City squad intact

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler is eager to keep his squad intact to challenge for honours next season. City have gone on a resurgent run in the second half of the season despite losing Bradley Ralani, Fagrie Lakay, Adbul Adjugan, Dove Edmilson and Aboubakar Mobara in the January transfer window. They are yet to lose a match in 2022, going 10 games unbeaten.

“I think, ultimately, myself and the chairman opted to make the changes when we made them, and those seven changes that moved on, the ones we brought in, we said to ourselves this is what we are building on,” Tinkler said. The Capetonians brought in new faces, Brice Ambina, Darwin Gonzales, Idumba Fasika, Parick Fisher and Mogamat May, who have fit in perfectly. Tinkler has made it clear that none of their players is up for sale, especially to a local club.

“Nobody is for sale, but there’s always a price. If something massive comes for one of our players overseas, sometimes you can’t turn that down, and for a player themselves, that’s got to be the objective. “Locally, you shouldn’t be wanting to move locally; you want to be moving internationally, so as a club – that is something we will never turn down if it’s at the right price.”

The Citizens face Chippa United, TS Galaxy, AmaZulu and Stellenbosch in their final four league outings for the 2021/21 campaign. Meanwhile, Tinkler has warned his charges against complacency after “a massive win” against Kaizer Chiefs.  Saturday’s 2-1 win over Amakhosi put them in good stead to finish in the top four.

“The team has responded extremely well since the start of the second half of the season. It would be massive for us; our objective is to finish in the top four, but where we currently see ourselves, it’s up to us; we know they [second placed Royal AM] need to drop points. We’ve given ourselves a chance to finish in the top four,” Tinkler said.

He is aware that the final four fixtures against Chippa United on Wednesday, TS Galaxy on Saturday, AmaZulu [14 May] and Stellenbosch [21 May] will not be easy. “The last four games will not be easy, irrespective of the fact that they [Royal AM] have challenging games. Whomever you play now is fighting for maximum points. 

“It’s very important that we don’t allow complacency to set in, which is always a threat, especially after a big win like this. The celebrations go on for a long and Wednesday [against Chippa]; you don’t pitch up,” he said. Royal AM plays Maritzburg, Orlando Pirates, Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns in their remaining fixtures.

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