Benni: Training finally paying off

Posted: 12 November 2018 Time: 16:55

Benni McCarthy was delighted to see his Cape Town City charges put into practice what he has been trying to instil on the training pitch following a victory over Black Leopards on Sunday.

The Citizens scored three goals in back-to-back games for the first time under McCarthy’s watch as Ayanda Patosi, Siphelele Mthembu and Allen Kateregga registered their names on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win over Lidoda Duvha, in a match that largely went according to plan for the hosts.

“We started brightly,” McCarthy told reporters after the game.” I told my players that Leopards would be used to the Thohoyandou heat, but Cape Town heat is a different story. Our pitch is massive, and we had to take the opportunity, as they aren’t acclimatised to playing on these pitches. So for the first 15 minutes we pressed them high and didn’t allow them to play. They’re an unpredictable team, and I watched them against Chiefs – they can play if you allow them to play, so I didn’t want to allow them to settle into the game, and I think we did that superbly. We made them play long balls, which we picked off, and then started to build up and playing our own game.”

The goals came from drills practised on the training ground, which left McCarthy, who celebrates his 41st birthday today, thrilled.

“This week in training we worked on a lot of patterns, playing to the striker, pass and move and move, and not holding onto the ball like we usually do,” he said. “The first and second goal was a product of what we had done on training pitch, so I was delighted with that.”

After scoring the first goal, City took their foot off the gas which allowed Leopards to equalise after Surprise Ralani’s back heel gave away possession, with McCarthy revealing his anger at the team’s collective drop in tempo.

“We were 1-0 up, playing comfortably and well – they had no answers, but then we became naïve, sloppy and arrogant, disrespecting the opponent with flicks and tricks, as it looked like the game was going easy for us,” he said.

“Then we made a few errors, and allowed them back into the game – Leopards then had their tails up, and we had our backs to the wall. But we were able to ride the wave and manage it, got the second goal, but they had a second wind and the game was still open at that stage, and they gave us a big scare. But the third goal then came at the perfect point which knocked the wind out their sails.

“We were deserved winners, but I have to give credit to Leopards for not coming here and sitting back – they held their own and pushed us all the way.”

The result saw City jump into eighth spot on the Absa Premiership table, with 13 points from their 10 games played.

Article by: Fabio De Dominicis

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