Cape Town - SuperSport United head coach Eric Tinkler has warned that his side cannot assume their quality on paper will steer them clear of the relegation zone.
A 2-0 defeat to Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday saw Matsatsantsa's lead over the 14th placed side drop to just two points. Furthermore, Polokwane City, who now occupy 15th position, just three points worse off than SuperSport, have two games in hand.
After withering the Ajax storm early on in the game, SuperSport succumbed to second half goals from Fagrie Lakay - who is on loan from the CAF Confederation Cup finalists - and Mario Booysen.
Tinkler refused to fault his players for their effort, but was far from complimentary of their attacking display.
“The work ethic - not in the first 25 minutes, but after that - we worked, we chased, we did what was necessary and looked a lot more positive and more confident on the ball than what we looked in those first 20 minutes,” he said, according to KickOff website.
“But again, in the final third, we were not creative enough and not creating opportunities to score, and we struggled to get back into the game [after conceding].”
Tinkler had some stern words for his players after he was asked whether or not Matsatsantsa were too good to be relegated.
“We can’t keep saying that every week,” he replied. “This is where we find ourselves right now, and we’ve got to be strong enough to get out of that position. We need to obviously relay that message at the training ground to the players — that we need to get a result against Maritzburg, and we can’t allow complacency or the confidence to drop.
“I’ve seen us play much, much worse than what we did against Ajax, and I can take the positives from that, but we have to be a lot better going forward, and ensure at the back that we don’t talk about the same things every week and continue making the same mistakes. We have to rectify that.”
SuperSport host Maritzburg United at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening, with kick-off scheduled for 18:00.
Although they are languishing above the relegation zone, they will take comfort in the fact that eighth-placed Bidvest Wits sit just two points above them, having played just one more game.