Tinkler: Orlando Pirates must be at our best to avoid what happened to Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler says that they respect the form of the newly-crowned Telkom Knockout champions Mamelodi Sundowns, but are not scared of them.

The two square off in a crunch Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Stadium on Sunday, with the Brazilians the more buoyant following their Telkom Knockout heroics over Kaizer Chiefs.

“Sundowns is in very, very good form at the moment and we need to be at our best if we want to avoid what happened to Chiefs on Wednesday, and get the three points. But we know what we are capable off and we are not worried or anything by what they have been doing because we feel that we stand an equal chance of winning on the day,” Tinkler told Goal.

Coming off a three-week break where the domestic action was brought to a halt because of the national under-23’s involvement in the Caf under-23 Championship Olympic qualifiers, Tinkler believes that the break was a good one for them as it helped them recuperate given the hectic schedule they have had.

“Yeh, it’s been good. It has given us a lot of time to recuperate and get things to work and improve on. It has helped us prepare a lot for the game against Sundowns,” Tinkler said.

Downs come into the game on an 11 game unbeaten run in all competitions and in second spot on the table.

For the Buccaneers, they need to put the smiles back on the faces of their supporters after the Caf Confederations Cup heartbreak.

“The mood is very good in camp. The team has exercised a bit and there’s a lot of smiles on the faces of the players and we need to put the smiles on the faces of our supporters after the Confederations Cup disappointments and try to come up with the points against Sundowns,” Tinkler said.

A win for Bucs will see them move into the top eight while for Downs it could take them to the top, provided leaders Bidvest Wits slip up against Kaizer Chiefs the day before in Cape Town.