Benni wary of psychological pitfalls
Posted: 11 September 2018 Time: 12:30
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has welcomed the announcement that the MTN8 final will return to Durban this year, but is wary of some of the pitfalls his side could face.
The Premier Soccer League on Monday evening confirmed that the 2018 MTN8 final between SuperSport United and The Citizens will be back at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 29.
This makes it a carbon copy of last year’s showpiece that saw Matsatsantsa pip their Cape-based counterparts to the title in a penalty shootout on October 14.
With attendances generally of a good standard at Mabhida, McCarthy has welcomed the announcement but admits some psychological work would be important given their memories from 11 months ago.
“It’s a nice site, but in 90 minutes of football it won’t be easy. Psychologically it can have its ups or downs,” said McCarthy.
“We’re playing the same team at the same stadium and we’ll probably be in the exact same dressing room because they won’t want to surrender that winning dressing room that they were in.
“It will bring new memories for the players but it might have a side effect that, ‘Sigh, we remember what it felt like coming into this dressing room, knowing that we should have won the game but ended up on the losing side’.
“So, psychologically that is something that I might have to work on with my players – how to overcome that – but I think it’s a privilege for my boys to have again gone out and played exceptionally well.”
The former Bafana Bafana striker took the positives out of his side’s road to the final, having come through clashes against Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns, and hopes this will inspire his charges to getting past the defending champions this time around.
“It wasn’t easy games [against] Maritzburg away and then Sundowns to find ourselves in another final, so it’s a good achievement,” he added.
“This time it is to try everything in our powers – whatever we can do to try and win it, because coming second-best isn’t an option.”