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Feature: Is the Caf Confederation Cup Kaitano Tembo's chance to prove he deserves the head coach job at SuperSport?

1:36 AM SGT 9/3/18
Kaitano Tembo and SuperSport United players
Goal looks at whether a Caf run will be good enough for Matsatsantsa to award Tembo with the role of head coach

SuperSport United recently parted ways with Eric Tinkler following a steady decline over recent months.

Although, Matsatsantsa recently reached the final of the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup and were victorious in the MTN 8, SuperSport have continued their downward spiral ever since their defeat to TP Mazembe and are in real danger of missing out on a top eight position domestically.

But with assistant coach Kaitano Tembo now in the firing line as he takes charge of SuperSport in a caretaker role until the end of the season, Goal looks at whether or not the Zimbabwean could perhaps be a suitable successor to Tinkler?

Tembo is certainly no stranger to taking over the hot seat at SuperSport as he was the man left to fill the void during SuperSport’s transitional phase between former coach Stuart Baxter and Tinkler. That experience that Tembo picked up especially as he guided the Tshwane-based outfit past the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup could be invaluable in his quest to redeem SuperSport’s pride.

But while Tembo’s main objective is likely to be SuperSport securing a top eight finish, he has an added opportunity to not only make the grade as a coach but perhaps convince the SuperSport hierarchy that he is a suitable contender for the job. The Confed Cup offers just that, and while under Tinkler this year’s campaign was certainly not top priority with suggestions that he would have played a severely weakened side.

However, after a draw against Petro de Luanda of Angola, Tembo’s intentions can be seen. The 47-year-old opted for a youthful looking squad resting some of their senior players, but at the same time remained competitive as many of the younger faces were first team players.

This could be the route that Tembo takes and after taking the team to the Democratic Republic of Congo last season and earning a draw away to the Ravens, Tembo may just favour his chances in the tournament.

Also, an important factor that saw Tinkler lose his job was due to player power. Tembo on the other hand has no such worries for the time being as he is a highly respected figure in the dressing room, and as he is a former SuperSport player, his passion for the club cannot be understated.

Nonetheless, while Tembo may be eager to achieve continental glory, the reality is that he has limited powers and the ultimate decision of how far SuperSport want to go is left in the hands of the men in suits. But Tembo is arguably one of the brightest managers in the PSL and he may be given a chance to showcase his talent as SuperSport really have nothing to lose after a dismal campaign. This could inevitably be Tembo’s time to shine and on what grander stage than the continental stage, it really only depends on just how much he wants it.