CAPE TOWN – Despite Benni McCarthy being fired, expect a pumped-up Cape Town City to return to the winners enclosure when they meet Polokwane City in a Premiership match at Cape Town Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm kick-off).
One too many inconsistent performances from City and two wins in their last 18 games led to the axing of McCarthy.
McCarthy was informed by club chairman John Comitis on Sunday that his services were being terminated with immediate effect. The club issued a terse statement after midnight and there has been a media clampdown on the team.
Comitis has appointed assistant coach Vasili Manousakis as caretaker coach.
The Citizens will be desperate to change a seven-game league winless streak, including back-to-back defeats to relegation-threatened rivals AmaZulu and in-form Maritzburg United, which sees them in 13th place on the 16-team log, which headed by Kaizer Chiefs.
The players were notified of McCarthy’s dismissal on the day and no doubt will feel for him knowing that he gave it his best shot, had their backs, and only wanted them to be the best they could be.
But now for a new chapter in the history of a club formed in 2016.
The players will move on and back Manousakis.
Team captain Thami Mkhize wants nothing less than 120 percent effort from each player picked to play against Polokwane.
“Past results do not do justice to how well we’ve played. The boys have delivered smart football without reward, that is due to our own doing,” said the Bafana Bafana right-back.
“We have thrown away points once too often through silly mistakes and that must now change. We must not take the foot off the pedal when we have the upper hand, we must concentrate for the full 90 minutes.
“We haven’t won in a long time so it’s very important and crucial for us to stay positive and to keep on working hard, and to keep on making sure we keep on working as a team and grinding out a result.”
Meanwhile, the Cape’s second PSL team, Stellenbosch FC, will be eyeing a hat-trick of wins in Durban when they lock horns with hosts AmaZulu at the Princess Magogo Stadium (7.30pm kick-off).
Steve Barker’s boys stunned Orlando Pirates 1-0 at the Cape Town Stadium last time out to make it two wins on the bounce after breaking a seven-game winless run with a 2-0 away victory over Polokwane City.
The Winelands-based side have moved away from the danger zone to 10th place on the log on 10 points, while AmaZulu, who are also seeking three wins on the trot, are second-bottom on eight points.
Mike de Bruyn