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Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy buoyed by Gavin Hunt absence for Bidvest Wits clash

Posted: 17 August 2017 Time: 07:45

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy is pleased he won't have to mix it up with Gavin Hunt in the first league game of the season, but expects a test against champions Bidvest Wits all the same. 

The teams will meet at Bidvest Stadium on Friday (20h00), with both coming off wins in the MTN8 quarter-finals last weekend.

McCarthy started his City reign with a 1-0 victory over visiting Polokwane City, while Hunt's Wits ousted Golden Arrows 4-3 on penalties after a fiery 2-2 draw yielded six dismissals in Johannesburg.

Hunt, who handed McCarthy his Seven Stars debut as a 17-year-old, was one of the men banished to the stands, earning a two-game suspension. Paul Johnstone will man the dugout in his absence.

"Good for us, very good for us. I was hoping they lose a couple more players with the send-offs," said McCarthy, when asked about the ill-tempered affair following his first match as a head coach.

"It was a really strange one, [but] they aren't the champions for nothing. You see, 2-0 down with ten men they were still able to win the game, it just shows the character.

"But it's because they've got, for me, probably the best coach in the league. That team is drilled properly, we will have to bring our A-game if we are to get something against Wits.

"They have the experience, they are a big side, and they rely a lot on set-pieces but they can also play. I think they surprise people with how they play, they have players that are comfortable on the ball.

"I think we will have to tighten the screws a little better, but yeah, I think we will be prepared for Wits. They won't have 'Hunty' on the bench, so it's good for me.

"I don't have to face 'coachie' when there's an altercation I have to settle. So at least now I can do it with the assistant coach, which for me is no problem," he said jokingly.

Article by: Stephen Kihn
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