Cape Town – Eric Tinkler is hoping SuperSport United snap out of their holiday slumber when they meet Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night.
Matsatsantsa have been playing catch up in the domestic league after their participating in the CAF Confederation Cup, where they went all the way to the final before losing to TP Mazembe.
But instead of using games in hand to rise in the standings, the Tshwane side have slumped in form and have claimed only two points from their last four matches, losing two of those.
Tinkler accepts his players need a rest, but has urged them to remain professional and to approach the match against Phunya Sele Sele at the Dr Molemela Stadium in the right frame of mind.
"I could sense the holiday mood in the dressing-room," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Sun.
"The Christmas break is coming at the right time. The players need it, they will come back in January refocused on the league.
"I had a heart-to-heart talk with them on Sunday and reminded them that they are professionals. We have one match left and need to win it to go into the new year on a high.
"I want to see them focus and concentrate when we play Celtic. We failed to do that against Baroka (a 1-3 reverse on Sunday).
"We switched off for the first two goals against Baroka. Celtic, who were beaten 4-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend, will be confident against us. They beat us in the Telkom Knockout.
"But every game is like a cup final for us and this will be no different. We need to go into the Christmas break with a win. We did not become a bad team overnight."
Wednesday's game is the final Absa Premiership action of 2017 until the league resumes on January 5, with SuperSport's next game against Kaizer Chiefs on January 6.
Kick off is at 19:30.
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