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CAF Confederation Cup

SuperSport United thoroughly deserve to be in the Caf Confederation Cup final, says Eric Tinkler

15:09 GMT+3 23/10/2017
Cape Town City, Eric Tinkler
Tinkler is confident that Matsatsantsa can get the better of the Ravens when the two sides lock horns in the Caf Confederation Cup final

SuperSport United overcame Tunisian giants Club Africain to book their place in the club’s very first Caf Confederation Cup final on Sunday night.

Matsatsantsa were full value for their money as they put on a stellar display away from home, earning a 3-1 victory on the night and sealing a 4-2 aggregate victory. But with celebrations ongoing, SuperSport’s coach Eric Tinkler has already switched his focus to SuperSport’s final opponents, the defending champions TP Mazembe.

But while many would be fazed by the idea of a daunting away trip to the Ravens’ fortress in Lubumbashi, Tinkler was far more optimistic considering that his side have already earned two impressive draws against Mazembe in the group stages of this year’s competition, most notably finding two goals in the away leg in the DRC.

Nonetheless, with a hostile atmosphere expected to greet the Tshwane-based outfit on their arrival, Tinkler is hoping to use the experience gained from their testing trip to Tunisia to their advantage.

“I explained to the players that we needed to come here [to Rades]‚ to this hostile crowd and hostile environment‚ and play without fear. That’s how we have to treat the game against TP Mazembe‚ irrespective of all of the experience that they have‚” Tinkler told reporters after Sunday’s game in Tunisia,” Tinkler told the media.

Meanwhile, following an almost flawless display where both Bradley Grobler and Jeremy Brockie found their names on the scoresheet, the 47-year-old was understandably pleased with the result.

“I think the first 30 minutes of the first half‚ I thought we were very good. I thought we showed great composure on the ball‚” he said.

“The decision-making was very‚ very good. We knew they would come and play a 4-3-3 formation‚ we just weren't too sure whether they would play with three defensive midfielders or two defensive and one attacking.

“I think the fact they played with defensive midfielders actually played to our advantage. That meant they would be sitting back and looking to only really hurt us on the counter and I thought we dealt with them very well in the first 30 minutes.

"We created chances‚ we got the lead and immediately after scoring we changed the way we played. I think the players to a degree started to panic a little bit. We started just knocking long balls and that was playing straight into their hands.

"The response from the players in the second half was exceptional. We started showing the same intensity and composure,” he added.

However, after SuperSport conceded from the penalty spot  Morgan Gould,  Tinkler added that his decision to switch SuperSport’s game plan to three defenders at the back paid dividence.

"We landed up changing the formation going with three at the back‚ playing with a 3-5-2 and were now looking to break on the counter against them. We ended up getting the third and possibly could have got more.

"So I'm extremely proud of the performance of the team. It's been a long run to get where we are and we thoroughly deserve to be in that final," he concluded.