Sunday, 6 December 2015

TINKLER EXCLUSIVE: This is crazy. I didn't send a CV to ANYBODY. I will stay and fight. Pirates will bounce back.

Sinister forces? Pirates coach Eric Tinkler
THERE is so much I can't say about Eric Tinkler and Orlando Pirates right now. But there are some things that can be stated with some emphasis.

Here's the main thing: Tinkler EMPHATICALLY denies sending his CV to two PSL clubs as alleged by the City Press newspaper today.

Quite where such suggestions come from, neither of us can fathom. Tinkler says: "It can't be the chairman. I haven't even had a meeting with him yet since we got back from Tunisia (I suggested nobody can find Dr Irvin Khoza to hold talks, but he didn't confirm or deny that). Everybody's been calling to ask about this meeting but it hasn't happened.

"(Technical Director and former Bafana coach) Screamer Tshabalala and I are getting on really well at the moment. We had a friendly yesterday and we talked nicely. We spoke about the future. There is no problem there.

"It's crazy. There's always speculation about Pirates but this is getting ridiculous. I was in Tunisia and people were saying I'm going to Maritzburg United. They even said Augusto Palacios would be interim manager at Pirates when I got back.

"It's all nonsense. I have a google alert on my phone that beeps whenever a new story comes up... it keeps us entertained!

"Look, we had a tough time in Africa. We got to the Confederations Cup final. We lost in Sousse. Today I've been shopping at Builders' Warehouse and NOT A SINGLE PERSON came up and had a go at me.

"Every fan I meet says hard luck, great effort. Where is this army of people who want me out?

"All I care about now is getting Pirates up the PSL table. We had good results against Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs in our last two league games, now we've got Mamelodi Sundowns on December 20th.

"If we win that we could be back in the top eight going in to the Christmas break. We don't have to worry about travelling all over Africa for a while. My job is to get us back in contention.

"I know these players. I know what we can do. I believe we can turn our league season around. Our fans know that we're capable of that."

A lot of other things were said this morning as Tinkler completed his trip around Builders' Warehouse. Unrepeatable here. But for worried Pirates fans, there is nothing sinister in Tinkler's defence of his position. He has a one year contract with a one-year option. At 45, with 48 South African caps behind him, it's worth listening when he says he intends to stay and fight.

For those who suggest he should be ousted, consider Ruud Krol and Roger De Sa. They succumbed to the pressure, they walked. Julio Leal and Vladimir Vermezovic turned up. We all know what happened then.

Tinkler, the tough guy from Roodepoort who bruised shins and won games at the top level in Portugal, Italy and England, offers this mantra: "I am no quitter. Never have been, never will."

Only a quitter would send his CV to rival clubs. It's unthinkable. As Tinkler points out, he gets approaches all the time. He ignores them. So the question is: WHO publishes stories like today's in the City Press. And WHY?

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