City romped to an emphatic 5-0 Absa Premiership victory over Ea Lla Koto – their biggest win since the club’s formation in 2016 – at the Cape Town Stadium.
It was a notable turnaround following their 2-2 draw last weekend at home to Baroka, after they also led 1-0 at half-time, but McCarthy has explained the key ingredient behind their vastly improved second-half display.
“A few of them got kicked up their nutsacks, that’s why Thabo never came back – I hit him at the wrong angle, so he stayed inside [the dressing room],” McCarthy joked, with Thabo Nodada’s injury having prompted a half-time change that saw Teko Modise enter the fray.
“No, I was bit more [aggressive] in my half-time team talk, my tone different from the nice praises and ‘excellent first-half’ [compliments].
“I said, ‘Yeah, we’re 1-0 up – we’re good, but we’re going to have to use aggression even in attack and when we have the ball, because at times I felt we were sloppy.
“Thato Mokeke was giving the ball away and we were making rookie errors, that could have invited them to shoot and we’d have gone from controlling and managing the game to making stupid mistakes to go 1-1.
“Everyone knows at 1-1, after the opposition scores they get that second wind and then it’s full-blow attack, while we’re on the back foot, so I just said ‘I want to see aggression. I don’t want them coming at us and we’re still stuck in the dressing room because it’s 1-0 and it’s comfortable. I want fire and aggression, people getting stuck in and this of trying to put balls through legs, I’m going to slap the next person to do that!’
“So, yeah, they saw I wasn’t joking. I was happy that we were 1-0 up but I wanted a response and not the same crap when we played Baroka and threw a game away, that was easily winnable for us, ending up with one point instead of three.
“So, I’m happy that they took my advice and they came out with aggression. We lost Thabo to injury – bum it! But luckily for us there are no games next week, and hopefully we can assess and see how serious it is.”