Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy will use the two-week international break to get overweight midfielder Ayanda Patosi back into shape.
Patosi has gained a few kilograms and McCarthy‚ who faced challenges of his own with weight issues during the later stages of his successful career‚ said he knows the process that his star players must follow to get rid of the excess baggage.
“It is a process and we will take it bit by bit‚” said the all time Bafana Bafana leading goal scorer.
“It is not going to happen overnight‚ of all these people I should know better because I have been there.
"But now I don’t care if people criticise me for my belly because I am a coach and if you look at 90% of the coaches in the league they have big stomachs.
"So‚ I fit in like a glove," said the former Celta Vigo, FC Porto and Blackburn Rovers striker.
McCarthy went on to say that a physically conditioned Patosi will be a nightmare to defenders because there's no doubting his quality.
“His qualities are undoubted but it is going to be a tough road ahead for him‚" he said.
"You need a strong will and to make the sacrifices.
"But this break comes at the right time so that I can work on a few things and really hammer the boys into shape.
“I think he is a work in progress and he is making good strides.
"If together with the fitness trainers and medical team we manage to get him in the right shape‚ we are going to see one of the best South African players.”
McCarthy added that he is looking forward to locking horns with SuperSport United counterpart Kaitano Tembo in the MTN8 after first meeting at Seven Stars as players many years ago.
“I was leaving the club when he (Tembo) Kaitano came to Seven Stars and he has had a good football education‚" McCarthy said.
"He was a decent footballer‚ tough defender for the clubs he played for and his national team and he is doing something amazing at SuperSport.
"You can see that the players are responding to his methods and playing against him is going to be interesting.
"It is an opportunity for one of us to win a title but I need to get rid of this gorilla on the back.
"I want to change the lives of the players by winning trophies and I have another bite at the cherry.
"I feel for him because I am going to tell my players to go hard on them.”