Benni McCarthy delighted with Gavin Hunt's sending off
Benni McCarthy was delighted with Gavin Hunt’s sending off last weekend – he says it means he will not feel intimidated when he takes his Cape Town City side to face the league champions Bidvest Wits in the opening game of the new campaign on Friday.
“They won’t have Hunty on the bench‚" he quipped as Cape Town City readied to travel to Johannesburg for the opening match of the new Absa Premiership season on Friday.
"That’s good for me. I won’t have to face ‘coachy’ (as McCarthy calls Hunt) when there is an altercation. At least now I only to have to face off with the assistant coach which for me is no problem!”
Hunt was sent to the stands during last Friday MTN8 quarterfinal win over Lamontville Golden Arrows where referee Philip Tiyani issued six dismissals in total.
Asked what he thought about the flurry of red cards in a dramatic game‚ McCarthy joked: “Very good for us … very good for us. I was hoping they would lose a few more players! It was a really strange one (the game).”
“They (Wits) are not the champions for nothing.
"You see them 2-0 down and down to 10 men but they still managed to win the game.
"That just shows you about their character.
"It’s because they’ve got‚ for me‚ probably the best coach in league.
"They have a guy who knows. The team is drilled properly. We are going to have to bring our A-A game if we are to get something against wits.
"They are experienced‚ they are a big side. They rely a lot on set pieces but they can also play. They surprised people with home many players they have that are very comfortable on the ball.
“We have to tighten the screws a little bit better than we did against Polokwane City but I’m confident we’ll be prepared for Wits‚” said the rookie coach.
Hunt was McCarthy’s first coach at Seven Stars in Cape Town and handed the then 17-year-old his debut.
“He was already at the club when I got there but he hadn’t played‚" Hunt recalled on Tuesday.
"I put him in straight away. I asked him where he played.
"He said ‘striker’. With his thin little legs‚ I said ‘no way’ and put him on the wing instead. He was brilliant from the start.”
Friday’s match is McCarthy’s league debut as a coach after a winning start last Saturday in the MTN8 when they beat Polokwane City 1-0 at home in their quarter-final tie.
Paul Johnstone takes over on the bench for Wits for their next two games as Hunt is banished to the stands.
Wits also had new Montenegrin defender Slavko Damjanovic sent off after just 21 minutes of his debut.