CAPE TOWN – City’s players need a reality check after one too many lacklustre performances in the Absa Premiership.
Their failure to win games they cost head coach Benni McCarthy his job on Sunday while some of the City squad could also be on their way out in the next transfer window.
Only one win to go with five drawn matches and three losses sees the Citizens languishing in 13th place in the 16-team championship currently headed by Kaizer Chiefs.
The Capetonians, with Vasili Manousakis as caretaker coach, host Polokwane City at the Cape Town Stadium tonight.
It will be the second meeting between the teams this season. The Citizens were the defending MTN8 knockout competition champions when taking a 2-0 home pasting from Rise and Shine. So they have a score to settle because on that day at Newlands, City failed to pitch up.
The players must know that the club they play for has dreams of winning the league title and they have been employed to achieve that.
In former coach McCarthy they had a South African legend who always gave 100 percent in his playing days that saw him end his career as his country’s top goal scorer and sole Uefa Champions League winner, among other personal achievements yet to be matched.
He has his sights set on becoming the best coach in SA, but that won’t happen for the foreseeable future as he is heading back home to Scotland.
He always backed his players, saying they make a good team and can, when firing on all cylinders, take down the best out there.
So how about seeing that. It would require every player to give it their all for the full 90 minutes. Flashes of brilliance, while pleasing to the eye, win you nothing, as City have discovered.
The more ball Kermit Erasmus gets, the better the chance for goals from the Bafana Bafana striker who can win a game at the drop of a hat with his speed and elusiveness on the run in and around the penalty area.
He has five goals to his name and has openly said he wants to reach double figures this season.
But for the diminutive marksman to fire requires his midfielders Thabo Nodada and Roland Putsche to be on top of their games. If they can thread quality passes forward and wide to bring the wingers into play then there’s hope of a positive result over opponents coming to the Mother City having suffered three losses on the trot.
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“I’ll go out there and deliver as I have been doing. This is an opportunity for me to keep the momentum going,” said Nodada. “I missed out on the first match against Polokwane (City) but now I have a chance to help change the outcome.
“Having Roland back in the fray is a big plus for us. He has real quality; he’s always calm and makes good decisions. I can’t wait to see the impact he’s going to have.
“It’s become very important for me to play closer to Kermit. We’ve developed a great understanding. Hopefully we can do more damage together, similar to what we’ve managed against Orlando Pirates recently.
“With that kind of combination and the support from the guys around us we can beat any team,” he added.
Meanwhile, Stellenbosch FC are also in action on the night, away to AmaZulu.
Both teams had to wait seven games for their first wins of the campaign and backed it up with victories next time out to improve their chances of staying clear of the drop zone.
Stellies are up to 10th place on 10 points from nine games, while second-bottom AmaZulu have eight points from the same number of games.
Mike de Bruyn