Sun Sep 24 05:05:23 SAST 2017

Brockie earns praise from Tinkler after rising above standoff with SuperSport employers

By Mark Gleeson | 2017-09-10 13:16:05.0

Goal hero Jeremy Brockie earned praise from his coach after putting behind him his transfer dispute with the club to deliver a two-goal performance and see SuperSport United into next month’s MTN8 final.

“He’s shown a lot of maturity and he’s understood that the opportunity for him to make a move will come‚” said delighted coach Eric Tinkler after the 2-0 away win over Maritzburg United in the second leg of their semifinal on Saturday.

It ensured a 3-1 aggregate triumph.

“We obviously know what his qualities are and he showed it again‚ which is good for him and good for us.

“As I’ve been saying to the Press the whole week‚ he’s been excellent in training‚ very‚ very professional.”

Brockie passed the 50-goal mark for SuperSport in just 90 starts and has now scored 24 cup goals alone in a remarkable conversion rate.

He already has three in this year’s MTN8 alone.

The 29-year-old New Zealander had been the subject of a protracted courting by Mamelodi Sundowns but SuperSport consistently refused the overtures of their neighbour‚ insisting Brockie see out his contract.

But if there was any ill feelings between Brockie and employer hanging around the camp‚ it was certainly not evident at the Harry Gwala Stadium and he headed home both goals in the first half.

“Overall‚ I thought it was a fantastic performance from the team‚ particularly offensively‚” added Tinkler.

“We knew we had to come here to score and we set ourselves the target to try and do that as early as possible because that‚ obviously‚ would put the pressure back on them.

"And then look for that second goal‚ because we believed that second goal would probably kill the tie. And we did that in the first half.

“Defensively in the second half‚ we knew they were going to start committing more bodies forward and come at us.

"And I thought we defended really‚ really well. They had a lot of momentum‚ a lot of possession in and around our penalty area. But they never hurt us.

“In the last 10 minutes we started to tire a little bit‚ we started to drop a little deep.

"The likes of (Andrea) Felicia and (Evans) Rusike were given a bit too much time and space and they are good at running at you.

"But that’s kind of expected at the time of the game. But overall‚ I was very pleased with the performance and obviously the result.

“Our experience helped but the effort was key.

"We needed to match them for effort. They were highly motivated and you could see that‚ the way they played.

"But our boys showed good professionalism‚ they worked extremely hard from that first whistle right until the end. And that is what got us the result -- our work ethic.”

For Tinkler‚ 47‚ it is another cup final appearance after taking Orlando Pirates to the Africa Confederation Cup final in 2015 and Cape Town City to success in last year’s Telkom Knockout.

“That was obviously my target‚ my objective was to get to the final. I wanted to start (his coaching spell at SuperSport) on the right foot.

"So I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved. But now I’m focusing on Platinum Stars in the league on Tuesday‚ we need to get points against them.” - SowetanLIVE