Pirates pay heavy price for Cup win

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Two of his defenders Rooi Mahamutsa and Thabo Matlaba, as well as strikers Kermit Erasmus and Thamsanqa Gabuza are injured, with the Buccaneers facing a tough MTN 8 Cup tie against Ajax Cape Town tomorrow and a CAF Confederations Cup clash against CS Sfaxien over the weekend.

“Matlaba has got a hamstring problem, he is out for a month, that’s guaranteed, we can’t change that. Kermit went for a scan, it is a hamstring strain, that can take up to five days to a week. So, we are not to sure if he will be available for Sfaxien, he is definitely not available for Ajax. Gabuza we don’t know right now. I’m hoping it is not a similar injury to that of Kermit. Mahamutsa has an achilles injury, but he started training on Friday, he was back doing some training on the field. Maybe Rooi will be available for CS Sfaxien,” said Tinkler.

“We currently have a squad of 32, which is a manageable squad and ideal to work with. We play (tomorrow) and players need to come for training. Guys who played will do a recovery session, at the same time it will give us an opportunity to asses them to see if there are any injuries.

“The rest of the squad that didn’t play Saturday will have a full training session, because they might be considered for the game (come tomorrow); that’s just a harsh reality.

“And we have to do the same thing when it comes to the weekend game against CS Sfaxien. We play Tuesday, and Wednesday we’ll have to come in and reassess the players again. And then from there we will make our decision in terms of who is going to be in the squad for the following game and who is going to be in the starting line-up.”

With Lehlohonolo Majoro being the only striker who is injury free registered in the CAF tournament, Tinkler is likely to register new recruit Tendai Ndoro.

“When Gabuza went out in the first half, I will be honest with you – I wanted to pull Majoro off because he is the only player I have as a striker registered in Confederations Cup.

“Thankfully I left a space open.”

The off-season hasn’t offered much of a break for Pirates and the team’s congested start to the season will offer no respite either.

However, Tinkler can take solace that his summer recruitment showed early promise in Saturday’s Carling Black Label Cup.

Tinkler used the Soweto Derby to give new arrivals Tendai Ndoro and Sifiso Memela a run.

After the game he said he was was impressed with how both players had dealt with the pressure of playing in front of 95 000 spectators.

“That bodes well for them when the league starts because it also makes me aware of what their capacities are, physically, mentally and psychologically,” Tinkler said. “I’m happy with those players that came in and contributed to the game.”

Ndoro came on to replace the injured Gabuza in the 31st minute. The Zimbabwean forward arrived from Black Aces on a free transfer.

Memela, who signed from Cape Town All Stars, replaced Sifiso Myeni in the 69th minute.

Tinkler hardly waited for the ink to dry on Edwin Gyimah’s new contract before putting him in the side.

The Ghanian international came on for Issa Sarr in the 76th minute.

Original source: Pirates pay heavy price for Cup win

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