Bakgaga have become City’s somewhat bogey team, with the Citizens failing to register a victory against the side from Limpopo in their previous four encounters, and none with McCarthy at the helm: they went down 2-1 in the reverse fixture played earlier this season in August, having lost two and drawn one of the three matches which they contested last year.
And McCarthy is determined to change his side’s fortunes against the Telkom Knockout champions.
“Baroka are a tough opposition, and an opposition that always seem to cause a great ordeal, but I think on Saturday we will put that record straight,” he said. “It was unfortunate that in the previous games we played them, they took their chances and we didn’t, and they managed to get a positive result. But now they’re facing a completely different Cape Town City side with a different mentality.
“Baroka are opposition we’ve struggled a lot with in the past, but if we start the game how we usually finish them, I think it’ll be a nice game for our players to look forward to. Baroka is an offensive team, and we can get a lot of joy from doing the right things from the first minute.”
City currently sit seventh on the table with 23 points, yet have two games in hand over most of their rivals, and are well aware that two favourable results in their next two league games – both of which take place at home – could leave them as high as third on the log, with all games equal.
“We know the importance of this game and where it could take us: if you look at the log, most teams have played 16 or 17 games, and we’re still on 15, so we must make full use of the opportunity,” McCarthy said. “There’s now two home games for us, and if we take advantage, it puts us in a nice situation in the league, which is beautiful for the players to look at: if you come to work every day and see yourself high up there on the table amongst the big boys, then motivation-wise it makes our job much easier as coaches.”
Following the clash against Baroka on Saturday evening, City play host to Free State Stars on Wednesday, with both games scheduled to take place at Cape Town Stadium.