Eric Tinkler eyes top of the table finish at Christmas break for SuperSport United
Posted: 6 December 2017 Time: 17:30
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler has admitted that they are intrigued by the prospect of ending the year on top of the Absa Premiership table.
Matsatsantsa are currently down in ninth place with 14 points, but have four games in hand due to their recent CAF exploits.
The 2017 Confederation Cup runners-up were held to a 0-0 draw by Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening, and missed out on the opportunity to shoot up to sixth on the log.
However, with four games to play before the end of the year, Tinkler likes their chances of finishing 2017 at the summit and going the distance in the title race.
"That's things we've discussed, in terms of the games that we have in hand. Currently we are the only team that's really on target," said Tinkler.
"When I say that, I mean, prior to this game we were on six games – 13 points, which is trying to average two points per game. Now we're on seven games – 14 points, so we're still there.
"I explained to the players that if we can collect at least 14 of the available 18 points we had [before Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates matches], we could find ourselves by Christmas at the top of the league and still with four games in-hand.
"That's the way the league is looking right now, but obviously you emphasise to the players the importance of today, because none of the games are going to be easy."
SuperSport face Cape Town City, Free State Stars, Baroka and Bloemfontein Celtic in their remaining games before the festive break, and Tinkler's only concern is his charger' motivation for the so-called 'smaller' teams.
"When you play a team like Pirates, as coaches, for us it's easy because you know the motivation, determination and work ethic is going to be there," he added.
"The worry now comes when you're going to the Free State Stars and the Barokas, whether you're going to get the same [attitude and approach].
"Teams that win leagues are the teams that get the points against those teams, not the ones you get against Orlando Pirates. Yes, they matter, but we need to ensure we get points against those [smaller] teams.
"Personally I would have preferred to have gotten three points against Pirates and try and keep the draw for later, because trips to the Free State and Baroka is not going to be easy.
"Now we know that there's one draw gone, we can't afford another one – well, we can afford one more – but we need wins and then we can find ourselves there [at the top of the table]."