City tonight welcome log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in their second-round tie, look to avenge their narrow 3-2 defeat at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium just a week ago.
The Cape Town outfit are currently fourth position and still have a realistic shot at the championship, trailing The Brazilians by just four points with eight games still to play.
However, McCarthy has insisted they are still too young a club to be aiming for the top honour in domestic football, though he is relishing the opportunity to ruffle the feathers of the chasing pack, after they recently defeated third-placed Bidvest Wits and still need to face second-place Orlando Pirates in eight weeks’ time.
“Football is for winning, so we play to win, and it’s painful when you lose. I think as much as people think, ‘Okay, it was normal for Sundowns to run us down [last Wednesday]’, but for us in the dressing room it was painful,” said McCarthy.
“We back ourselves against anybody, and we like taking the hand-grenade, pulling the pin out and throwing it in the mob [title challengers] and seeing what happens – who blames who and all that.
“But, like I said, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We beat an exceptionally strong Wits team that can still go on and win the league, because they’ve got the depth which is immense.
“So, for us to show the quality and fighting spirit is good. It’s something to look forwards to for Tuesday [game against Sundowns].”