Cape Town - Orlando Pirates legend Dumisa Ngobe cannot understand why Eric Tinkler is getting so much criticism for losing what was effectively a dead-rubber.
The Buccaneers were thrashed 4-1 by Zamalek in the final group game of the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday, but the Soweto giants had already qualified for the semi-finals of the competition.
"I think it's unfair that some people are already pointing fingers at the coach just because the team lost 4-1," Ngobe told Goal website.
"The team has already qualified and as much as they wanted to win the group, I felt going to Egypt was all about honouring the match.
"For me it's sad that local coaches always have to prove themselves even when they are doing well.
"Had it been a foreign coach at Pirates nothing would be said if the team lost 4-1 like it did on the weekend."
The former Bucs midfielder also warned fans the club's league form could continue to suffer as they focus on going all the way in the continental tournament.
"I know very well that they want to win the Confederations Cup and the league campaign might suffer for some time," said Ngobe.
Pirates have just three points from their opening three league fixtures and are currently 12th in the Absa Premiership standings with a one game in hand.
Tinkler's charges will face MP Black Aces on Friday, September 18 at 19:30.