Benni McCarthy insists he has no beef with captain Lebogang Manyama
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy insists there has been no falling out with captain Lebogang Manyama‚ but admits he did not think the Bafana Bafana midfielder was fully focused on his job ahead of the MTN8 semifinal first leg against BidVest Wits on Sunday.
McCarthy dropped the reigning Premier Soccer League Player of the Season from his match-day squad for the crucial cup fixture that was won 1-0 by City in Cape Town.
Manyama has previously expressed his desire to leave the club despite signing a new four-year contract earlier this year‚ with interest from Turkey said to be turning his head.
City owner John Comitis has insisted he will not sell Manyama locally with Mamelodi Sundowns known admirers‚ and McCarthy felt it was best that the player sat out this weekend.
McCarthy had substituted Manyama at halftime of the 3-1 league victory over Platinum Stars in midweek and was critical of the performance.
“I kept him in the team against Platinum Stars and I didn’t see the performance I had hoped for. He has been at training every day this week‚ but I just feel like his mind is elsewhere‚” McCarthy said.
“And that can happen when you have a lot of talk about other clubs interested in you‚ you can lose that focus. I just felt that I would rather have players in the team [against Wits] who I know are 100 percent focussed on the job.
“But there has been no bust-up‚ I spoke to him about it and that was it.”
McCarthy would not be drawn into the reported interest from the unnamed Turkish side.
“I don’t know anything about that‚” he said.
“That is up to the chairman [John Comitis] and I leave that with him.
"I worry about what is happening on the pitch‚ the rest I am not interested in. If he wants to tell me about the situation then I will be all ears.”
Manyama finished as Absa Premiership top-scorer in the last campaign‚ earning himself a recall to the Bafana Bafana squad and drawing interest from a number of quarters‚ locally and abroad.
Comitis has reportedly slapped a €1-million (R15.5-million) price on the 26-year-old.
Manyama will head off to FIFA World Cup qualifier duty with the national team over the next week‚ with City not in action again until the return leg of their MTN8 semifinal on September 10‚ by which time Manyama’s future will be decided either way.