City’s opponents SuperSport United enter this weekend’s showdown on the back of a 4-0 drubbing of Black Leopards, having lost just one of their previous eight matches, while scoring 14 goals in the process.
Yet McCarthy is unperturbed, saying City’s focus has been on the previous four meetings over the past year between the two sides as he searches of ways to outfox the capital club.
“I’m not taking much from that‚ the fact that they scored a lot of goals‚” he said.
“We’ve mainly focused on the games we’ve played against them – I think that’s the best definition we can take from all this, if we want to learn how to how to play against them.”
City and SuperSport have met on four occasions over the past 12 months, with three matches ending in a draw, including the 2017 MTN8 final which Matsatsantsa went on to win via penalties, while the Citizens were 2-0 winners in their opening league encounter this season against Kaitano Tembo’s charges.
McCarthy says in analysing their previous match-ups, SuperSport has not tinkered much with their line-ups, which he feels has given City an advantage in their preparations as they look to improve on areas in which they fell short in the past.
“We’ve played them four times and if you analyse the four games‚ they have used more or less the same personnel in all four games that they’ve played against us,” he said.
“Ninety percent of their team hasn’t changed against us – maybe two or three new players here and there.
“They have the same patterns‚ and where we’ve struggled, we’ve gone and looked at our weakness – the things that didn’t go well against them and where they might have hurt us in some instances — so we’ve looked at our weaknesses over those four games and are trying to rectify them in training.”
But in as much as he’s studied his rivals, McCarthy feels that heart, and not tactics, will determine the eventual winners come Saturday evening in Durban.
“This is a game for minimum mistakes – the team that makes the least mistakes and that plays with the biggest heart is the team that will come out on top, not necessarily the team that gets it tactically spot-on,” he said. “In a cup final, tactics is important, but it doesn’t determine the result. Courage, heart, effort and hard work, and the team that goes in there fighting and lays it all down on the pitch is most likely the team that will walk away with the spoils.”