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Eric Tinkler backs battling Thamsanqa Gabuza

Posted: 11 February 2016 Time: 12:35

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler has offered his support to Thamsanqa Gabuza as the forceful forward continues to battle through a difficult patch.

Gabuza has scored only once in his last eight starts and was jeered by sections of the Orlando Stadium faithful on Wednesday night in their 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Though naturally a hardworking striker who always plays for the team, the reality has it that as a striker he is bound to be primarily judged on how often he scores and a single goal in eight starts doesn’t make for impressive numbers as a chief striker.

Last night Gabuza again impressed with his ‘hustling’ commitment but looked far from convincing in directing his efforts at goal, leaving those dominating the stands frustrated.

“I think Thami himself knows that his work-rate is phenomenal. He covers so much ground that he is probably the hardest-working striker in the country if we look at the stats,” responds Tinkler upon being questioned about the 28-year-old.

While acknowledging that his first-choice forward needs to step up, Tinkler also makes mention of the fact that the effectiveness of the line of supply needs to be given just as much attention.

“Obviously, he knows that he needs to get a lot better in and around that box because he does get into situations of goalscoring and sometimes lets himself down. The fans obviously demand a lot,” Tinkler adds.

“For me, you cannot always sit and blame the striker when you cannot blame the supply. You can have the two best strikers in the world, if you don’t have the supply to the strikers then any striker will look bad. So it is an all-round effort in football today, it is everyone who needs to provide.

“He is going through a bit of a bad patch right now, getting chances and not putting them at the back of the net, but we continue to believe that the chance will come and he will turn it because he has proven it before.”

READ: Tinkler: We didn't play to tactics

Article by: Lovemore Moyo

Tags:  Eric Tinkler

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