SuperSport United have earned TP Mazembe's respect, says Eric Tinkler

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Tinkler is holding his breath that Matsatsantsa's international contingent return from the international break injury free

After hammering Golden Arrows 3-0 in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash on Tuesday evening, SuperSport United can now turn their attention to the Caf Confederation Cup final against TP Mazembe.

However, before they make the trip to Lubumbashi, Matsatsantsa coach Eric Tinkler will be sleeping a little uneasy as he releases his players for international duty.

SuperSport have several players who have been called up to their respective national teams, including tournament top scorer Jeremy Brockie, and Tinkler admits that he is holding thumbs that they return unscathed.

"You hope everybody comes back unscathed," Tinkler was quoted as saying by Sowetan.

"It's a bit of a concern that I have because it's the two Bafana games and then the final. We are also losing Jeremy Brockie to New Zealand," he added.

Meanwhile, the 47-year-old is wary that this time around SuperSport do not go into the clash with the Ravens as complete unknowns after their impressive displays earlier in the tournament.

"Most teams such as Mazembe did not know who SuperSport was,” Tinkler explained.

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"The only teams they knew of were Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. I think they got a surprise when they played us. I watched that game and I thought SuperSport did very well," he added.

Nonetheless, SuperSport go into the first leg in the Democratic Republic of Congo without influential midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane, and Tinkler has lamented his absence.  

"It will be a bit difficult replacing Yeye's experience and creativity," he concluded.

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