'Players need a klap'
Frustrated McCarthy says his senior team members must catch a wake-up call after slew of losses
Benni McCarthy will hold individual meetings with his senior players this week - some of whom, he has said, "need a slap or two" - to get to the bottom of a slump for Cape Town City as they begin the defence of their Telkom Knockout title.
City have lost twice in the past week since being beaten on penalties in the MTN8 final. The rookie coach admits he is flummoxed about the defeats at home to Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday and at Chippa United on Sunday.
"This week is just going to be about us having meetings and seeing where the problem is or what the problem is," said a frustrated McCarthy, whose side are away at Baroka FC in the first round on Sunday.
"I'm not going to be too bothered about training. I think the team is fit.
"But something is missing. We've lost that spark; we've lost the desire we had in the first eight games of the season.
"After the final I don't know what happened - everything is crumbling. Maybe it's not yet getting over that final we should have won or other unanswered questions."
It will be a test of McCarthy's acumen as a coach to put some zip back into his side, who face a long trip to Polokwane to meet Baroka in the Telkom Knockout last-16 on Sunday following their journey to East London, where they lost 2-1 to Chippa United in the league.
"We were again dominant in the first half and you think you get through to players. All I said to them before the second half was not to get sucked in, ride the wave and play our usual game. Relax and don't concede.
"But they just went to sleep, man. As a coach you have to be responsible with what you say but I think our senior players need a wake-up call sometimes. A good slap or two!
"I couldn't believe what happened. It seems the team stayed in the dressing room and I don't know who came on the field for us in the second half.
"We don't seem to get back into it once we go behind. I don't know if I can blame myself. What can you do if your team doesn't pitch up?
"Some senior players have to start taking responsibility. They are not kids any more. I'm tired of making excuses for them; players also have to stand up and be counted."