Tinkler: We should've beaten Chiefs
Posted: 12 November 2018 Time: 18:30
Chippa United coach Eric Tinkler sought to shield Lerato Manzini from criticism after the striker spurned two great chances to score in a goalless draw with Kaizer Chiefs in Durban on Saturday.
Manzini's first opportunity came in the 26th minute when he shot wide from six yards out after being teed up by Kurt Lentjies at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
He had another chance in the 58th minute but Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune dropped down smartly to parry his shot away following good work by man of the match Ruzaigh Gamildien.
Two minutes later Tinkler substituted Manzini, whose previous first team appearance was a year ago against Free State Stars.
"In training he [Manzini] is the best finisher. You watch him in training, there's no pressure in training," Tinkler said in the post-match press conference.
"This was an important match against a big team. Will I say he's rusty? I wouldn't say because we have given him lots of opportunities. He has been playing in the MultiChoice Diski team every week, so he has been playing 90 minutes. As I said, in training he has been fantastic and today we gave him a run.
"The likeliness is he'll start the next game [against Maritzburg United on November 27] because he's got to build on that confidence. Like I said, you can see the qualities are there.
"He was out for a long time, let's not forget. He was out almost nine months and that's a long, long time for a player to be out, and this is kind of expected. But I thought he did well, he worked hard for the period that he played."
Besides Manzini's clear-cut chances, Thabo Rakhale also had a strike earlier blocked by Khune, while he dragged an attempt wide in the third minute of optional time.
Tinkler, who watched from the stands when Chiefs recently beat SuperSport United in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals, felt his side deserved to defeat the Glamour Boys.
"We planned for this game very well as we had an opportunity to come and watch them. I watched them again during the week [against Black Leopards]," he said.
"So, I think our game plan for this game was very, very good, although in the first half I did feel that we dropped slightly too deep in terms of how we wanted to apply the press. We only initiated our press in our own half and we looked to break on the transition. Even though we were doing that I think we still created the best opportunities in the first half and possibly deserved to come away at least one-nil up.
"It was really in wide areas where every now and then they were hurting us with crosses, but I thought we dealt with it quite well. Set-pieces were also something we worked on this week; defending the set-pieces, not switching off, which we did unfortunately in the first half and we nearly got caught.
"We created good chances but we didn't put the ball in the back of the net, so that is disappointing to be honest. As I sit here, I feel like I've lost. Considering the game against Orlando Pirates [on October 20 in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals], the game against Mamelodi Sundowns [in the league on October 27], how well we played, I felt that we deserved more than what we got.
"Well, we got more than what we got in those games, we got the draw at least. But we deserve to come away with more than one point."
The Chilli Boys are 13th on the Absa Premiership table with nine points from 13 matches.
Tinkler has registered two wins, a draw and five losses since taking over the reins from Dan Malesela in August.