Matsatsantsa returned to domestic action following their heart-breaking defeat in the final of the Caf Confederation Cup, and Aubrey Modiba’s first half header was enough to compile further misery on a struggling Ajax Cape Town side.
However, the Tshwane-based outfit appeared jaded, especially in the second half, and while coach Tinkler was happy to walk away from the Mbombela Stadium with three valuable points in hand, he lamented his side’s performance on the night.
“I'm happy with three points‚ but not a good performance‚” Tinkler told reporters.
“First half‚ our pressing was poor‚ and with our transitional play we could have hurt them more. Yes‚ we got the goal‚ but I thought we could have got a lot more in that first half. Our final pass was poor‚ that last 10-minute period in the first half we took our foot off the pedal and looked very lethargic,” he continued.
"I warned the players at half-time that this is a dangerous game‚ they can come back into it. The second half performance was not good enough. We had to fight‚ fight‚ fight‚ but maybe considering the psychological circumstances‚ you kind of accept it and walk away and say‚ ‘OK‚ we got the three points’‚ but then have a look at what we have done here and fix it for Tuesday,” he added.
Nonetheless, the 47-year-old mentor also admits that the victory will go a long way in helping the team psychologically, especially as some of his players are still smarting from Bafana Bafana's failure to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.
“It was very important for us to collect the three points psychologically‚ because having lost that final‚ and then another loss would have been a big knock,” he said.
“We also have a few of the boys that were with Bafana Bafana‚ and the fact that Bafana did not qualify [for the World Cup] hurts them. People forget that it hurts them more than it hurts us and the fans because they have missed out on that opportunity to go to a World Cup,” he concluded.