Handed the role as City coach following the departure of Eric Tinkler last year, McCarthy enjoyed a relatively successful debut season in charge, leading his side to the MTN8 final and a fifth-place finish in the Absa Premiership.
Now a Uefa Pro Licensed coach, McCarthy was asked what he learnt from his first season at the helm, and what he’s hoping to do different this season.
“I think I need to be more direct – last season I wanted to be light, I wanted to get on with everyone and wanted the players to feel comfortable, and sort of baby them a little,” he responded. “But I think now we’re past that stage, the players know what is expected of them, they know what we want and how we want to work. We’re not here to baby anybody – we are here to be professional, and when they go out there, they have a job to do.”
Criticism naturally follows a high-profile coaching position, yet McCarthy insists he’s not concerned, while adding how he feels best to communicate with his players.
“I don’t care if I’m liked or not liked anymore,” he said. “I’m here to get a job done, but the players have responded far better than I thought. But I think it’ll be a brutal season this year, and that’s what I’ve learnt – players prefer having it straight than beating around the bush.”
City open their 2018/19 league campaign at home against SuperSport United this evening, with kick-off at Cape Town Stadium set for 18h00.