Domenica, 21 Febbraio 2016 13:44

<div>Sport24.co.za | Eric Tinkler's rollercoaster continues</div>

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It is oft' said that football can turn your hair greyin a minute and no one can bear testimony to that more than Orlando Piratescoach Eric Tinkler at the moment.

His charges

have been blowing hot and cold so muchthat the club has been yo-yoing between the bottom part of the log andmomentarily flirting with the top bracket.

Just this past week, Pirates suffered an embarrassing1-0 defeat at the hands of Free State Stars on Wednesday night.

And then on Sunday, they put up such a great show thatthey demolished high-flying Mpumalanga Black Aces 3-1 away at Nelspruit'sMbombela Stadium.

Such has been life for Pirates this season.

To give background, the Buccaneers hoisted the SouthAfrican flag so high on the African continent by demolishing all opposition until being overcome byTunisia's Etoile du Sahel in the Confederation Cup final.

But during that shining campaign, they would come homeand give lackluster performances that they remained stuck at the bottom of thelog for a long period.

Many thought the end of their campaign in the ConfedCup would see them surge up on the domestic log.

However, this has been quite tough to achieve, thanksto inconsistent results in the league.

Pirates campaign domestically has been characterisedby inconsistency. One week, they put on a glittering show as they did on Sundayand the next outing they fall flat justas they did on Wednesday.

And in the process, Tinkler's job has been hanging bya thread as speculation keeps on going into overdrive about his future at theclub.

What must also be bothering Tinkler, if he cares, isthe silence of club boss, The Iron Duke of South African football, Irvin Khoza.

While the club chairperson gave the coach a thumbs up andappealed to Pirates' supporters to "give the coach a chance", hissilence has been deafening of late.

You see, those who have known Khoza for many years,are aware that it is always better when he speaks out then when he keeps quiet.

He has so much mastered the art of playing his cardsso close to his chest that he prides himself on being a master in"scooping" the media.

Khoza's actions are usually out of the blue.

So Tinkler must be in a position that talks to the oldadage that uneasy lays the head that wears the crown.

For now, Tinkler must be praying that Sunday's victory- which took Pirates from 11th to eighth on the log - isn't a one-off and that consistent positive results will continue to propel theclub up the ladder.

And the closer Pirates edge towards the top, the saferTinkler's job will be.

But for now, Tinkler must be feeling the heat thatcomes with coaching which is a job that many sane people would not touch with abarge pole.

Survival remains the name of the game for the formerBafana Bafana midfielder.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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