ORLANDO Pirates assistant coach Eric Tinkler believes playing Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 final on Saturday will bring the best out of the Buccaneers as they look to win the title for the 10th time in their history.
The two Soweto rivals clash in the Moses Mabhida Stadium final, when Amakhosi will be bidding to win the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) first trophy on offer in 2014/15 for the 15th time in their history.
Tinkler and counterpart Doctor Khumalo faced the media in Durban on Thursday ahead of the meeting and the former was confident in their chances.
“It’s the dream of every single player to play in a derby,” Tinkler said. “For us as coaches it’s fairly easy in terms of motivating the players, there’s not a lot we have to do.
“You want to be in a stadium where there’s 60,000 or 90,000 fans. When you’re a young man and you see that on TV, it’s something you dream about.
“So it’s a massive occasion for everybody involved. There’s huge bragging rights for the fans and it’s vitally important, irrespective if it’s a friendly or an R8-million prize-winning game.”
The former Bafana Bafana midfielder stated that the hunger from his team was stronger than ever, especially after missing out last year.
He continued: “We found ourselves in this position last season but on the wrong end of the stick and we want to change that.
“We set ourselves objectives last season to get to every single final and win it. We got there but only got the Nedbank Cup. This season we have started well and this time we want to make sure we go away with the trophy.”
Chiefs number two Khumalo admitted that the stakes were high, but felt Amakhosi players thrived under pressure.
“(Playing in the final) it’s not pressure,” he said. “It’s an occasion for us to enjoy because we worked hard to get here.
“It’s now just a matter of putting a smile on the faces of our supporters. Kaizer Chiefs, we’re always under pressure, we live with it. So it’s sort of a norm, but these boys know how to handle it.”
Asked whether Chiefs would be keeping an eye on any particular opposing player, Khumalo responded with a smile, saying: “Kaizer Chiefs don’t pay any special attention to anyone at Pirates.
“We need to pay special attention even to the security. When it’s Chiefs versus Pirates, we’re not just talking fields. Off the field too we have to watch out, including the security. You need to pay attention to everyone. That’s how important this game is.”
And Tinkler added: “Doc is entirely correct, we face those problems every time we have a derby. Those are the truths of playing in the derby and that’s the beauty of what makes this whole event so special.”-www.psl.co.za