Benni McCarthy and Eric Tinkler say they have both moved on from a dust-up that occured six years ago during a Telkom Knockout final clash between Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The Cape Town City coach had then just returned from his trophy laden overseas odyssey to sign for the Buccaneers, while the SuperSport United mentor was assistant to Roger de Sa at the Clever Boys.
The two former Bafana Bafana internationals were involved in a heated argument and had to be separated, and they will now come face-to-face for the first time since they both took over the hot seats at their respective clubs.
McCarthy expressed that they will be fully focused at the task at hand come Saturday rather than events of the past.
“The focus is not on Eric,” McCarthy told the media. “What happened, happened, it’s in the past. We’ve all moved on. My focus now is just on my team. We have to be strong and tough, and we have to play with heart. It won’t be easy, but we have enough quality and we have players who can win games," he said.
McCarthy equally reserved praise for Tinkler and his charges ahead of this much-anticipated encounter which will determine a team that will land their first major silverware of the season.
"SuperSport, under Eric, will be disciplined and organised. It’s going to be tough for us. Eric’s teams are always structured, very well organised, and difficult to break down, but I think we are able to do it. We want to take a lot from our games against Wits this season - because Wits and SuperSport are very similar with regards to strength and depth. I’m certainly expecting an entertaining and interesting cup final,” he added.
Tinkler also echoed Benni's sentiments that Saturday's meeting will not be about them despite the past, but on the achievements of winning the MTN8 trophy.
“That exchange happened because you had two people who don’t like to lose,” Tinkler said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“We both have a winning mentality that makes it hard to stomach defeat, but I have nothing against Benni. That is water under the bridge. We have been cordial whenever we’ve met each other after that incident,” added the former Cape Town City coach.