Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa has backed counterpart Eric Tinkler ahead of their clash at Cape Town Stadium, saying it is "sickening" the way he has been treated by Orlando Pirates fans.
De Sa, who was previously at the Buccaneers helm for 18 months, is all too aware of the tough task Tinkler faces as he looks to get Pirates' league campaign back on track.
While Pirates have performed admirably on the African stage, securing a place in the CAf Confederation Cup final, it is their domestic form that has the club's supporters called for Tinkler's head.
In fact, the hashtag "TinklerMustFall" has been used ad nauseam in recent weeks, a situation De Sa feels is clearly not helping the coach's cause.
"It is a lot easier to blame one person than blame 11 and you see that all the time," De Sa told Business Day.
"I watched them play against Golden Arrows and they missed four or five sitters. And yet I never saw Tinkler make a bad pass or miss a chance.
"The fans would rather go for the guy that is sitting there (in the dugout) than the players.
"It is a culture that is a little bit sickening really, but unfortunately, we have to live with it."
Reflecting on Pirates' 3-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiership, he added: "I was delighted for him, to be honest, though Steve (Komphela) is also my mate, so I was not too happy for him. I was hoping for a 3-3 draw actually!
"But Eric deserves it though, to take the team all the way to the Confederation Cup final has not been easy for him, with the amount of games they have to play and the juggling of the squad, it's very difficult.
"On top of that, he has supporters with banners and whatnot - as if the job is not tough enough."