Tinkler praise for Mokoena
Posted: 1 September 2017 Time: 22:00
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler has reserved praise for young midfielder Teboho Mokeona following his recent performance against Maritzburg United.
Mokoena was plugging the hole left by the suspension of SuperSport captain Dean Furman, as he showed his versatility in their 1-1 MTN8 semi-final first leg clash in Tshwane last weekend.
The 20-year-old, who usually plays as an attacking midfielder, handled himself well in a more defensive lying role alongside Reneilwe Letsholonyane, and Tinkler was delighted with his performance.
“I think he’s done exceptionally well. I really thought he done well [against Maritzburg],” lauded Tinkler.
"I thought the yellow card he got was harsh, in my opinion, because [Lebohang] Maboe was nowhere near the ball when he actually won it [the foul].
"Yes, his [Moekoena] foot was raised, but the player wasn’t there and it wasn’t a deserved booking in my opinion.”
Despite picking up the yellow card in as early as the 35th minute, Tinkler was confident enough to leave Mokoena on the pitch amid dangers of being sent off with a second booking.
"I think he can handle himself, but those are the risks you take,” added the coach.
“He’s very clever, he reads the game very well, he’s got a good aggression about him – I don’t think he’s overly aggressive, hence I felt the yellow card was harsh.
“But I thought he read the game and anticipated it very well, and he done extremely well.
“We let ourselves down in that last 15 minutes in the second half, where we weren’t compact enough and we left him [Mokoena] slightly isolated, which is obviously the danger.”
With Furman set to return ahead of the second leg clash against the Team of Choice at the Harry Gwala Stadium on September 9, Tinkler faces a hefty headache in choosing his midfield.