/ 26 February 2014

Arrival of new Pirates coach saddens Tinkler

Ready replacement: Eric Tinkler has taken over as a caretaker coach for Orlando Pirates after the resignation of Roger de Sa.
Ready replacement: Eric Tinkler has taken over as a caretaker coach for Orlando Pirates after the resignation of Roger de Sa.

Interim boss Eric Tinkler said he will be sad to give up the coaching reins of Orlando Pirates when new head coach Vladimir Vermezovi? arrived, wishing his time as head coach did not have to come to an end.

The Buccaneers appointed the Serbian manager earlier this month following the resignation of coach Roger de Sa, who brought an end to a 16-month stint with the Soweto outfit in which he steered them to the final of the Caf Champions League.

"I would be lying if I told you that I'm happy to see a new coach come," Tinkler said after his team's well-deserved 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in a Premiership clash on Tuesday.

Tinkler was put in charge of the Sea Robbers until a permanent replacement was found and took control of the team for the month of February while Vermezovi? awaits his visa and work permit to be secured.

"I've enjoyed this experience, I've had this experience before and I think it's just going to stand me well in the future," Tinkler said.

"Being able to coach at a club like Orlando Pirates … not many people get that opportunity and I just want to do the club proud, hopefully get the right results so that when the new manager steps in, we're still in contention for the league and the Nedbank Cup."

'A roller-coaster ride'
Pirates returned to winning ways in Pretoria on Tuesday, following a lone goal from Khethowakhe Masuku, which was enough to see out their first win in four attempts in front of a packed house at Loftus Versfeld.

"I've been in charge now for practically the whole month. The first game, I got the win against Wits and it's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride because after that we lost to Sundowns, then to Polokwane City," Tinkler said, summing up his results this month.

"For me, the main focus has been to try and get the guys' confidence back and try and get the positive results again

"This win for me is obviously special. Not because it's Sundowns, it's just that we got the win – which was extremely important."

Looking back on his time as stand-in head coach, Tinkler admitted that his outfit had struggled to fit in much time on the practice field due to plenty of travelling over the last four games, which made Tuesday's victory all the more satisfying.

"I'm very proud of the boys with the performance that they produced tonight [Tuesday night]," he said

"We've been playing a lot of games. We've been on the road the past four games, travelling from the Free State to Durban, to Cape Town, to Richard's Bay.

"We've had very little time to actually do field work. A lot of it has been video analysis and the little time that we've spend on the field, the players have obviously taken it in."

Visa issues
Asked about the imminent arrival of Vermezovi?, Tinkler said he was unsure when the former Kaizer Chiefs mentor was due to land in the country, but was confident it would be before the weekend, though Tinkler looked likely to still be in charge when Pirates take on Free State Stars on Saturday.

"I met with the technical team on Sunday where I [asked] that question, to find out when he would be in the country because I believe he in not in the country as yet," he said.

"There's been issues around him getting his visa. I believe he would have been travelling today, so I'm assuming, within the next couple of days he will be around and then we'll get the opportunity to actually meet with him and sit and discuss the way forward." – Sapa