Cape Town City are ‘in full swing now’‚ says Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy will be without three key players when his Cape Town City aim to continue their march up the Absa Premiership table with a home clash against Baroka FC at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.
New striker Kermit Erasmus‚ in-form winger Surprise Ralani and defender Edmilson have all been ruled out as City seek a third win on the trot and potentially a place in the top three.
City are 10 points behind league leaders Bidvest Wits‚ but have two games in hand and so could potentially cut that deficit to four‚ which would leave them well and truly in the title race.
“We have a bit of an infirmary‚” a concerned McCarthy said. “A few players got injured in the last game [1-0 win at SuperSport United].
“Surprise got a hefty knock so he is definitely out for Baroka and Free State Stars [on Wednesday]. Edmilson as well‚ he is out for both games.
“Erasmus is also 50-50 and it is likely we won’t have him for Baroka. We don’t want to risk him and make the injury worse.”
While McCarthy expressed some hope‚ Erasmus later confirmed that he would not feature at the weekend.
McCarthy hinted that new signing Thato Mokeke could switch from midfield into the defence to cover for the loss of Edmilson.
The coach feels his side are beginning to hit their best form and says the players are reacting to the plans he has tried to put in place this campaign.
“Now our team is in full swing. Everybody understands the philosophy‚ everybody understands the way we play and the mentality we try to create here. The players are gelling much better.
“We might not always play the style of football we want to‚ but we still have that compactness and that mental toughness where we can grind out the ugly results like we did against SuperSport.”
McCarthy admitted that Baroka‚ who are languishing near the foot of the table‚ will present a challenge given their at times gung-ho style of play‚ but said that can also create opportunities for his side.
“Baroka are a very offensive team and we can have a lot of joy when we do the right things from the start‚” he said.
Baroka have been something of a bogey team for City in the past‚ winning three of the last four meetings between the clubs‚ with the other game drawn.
City have in fact never managed a victory in Cape Town over the Limpopo side‚ so there is a small piece of history to be had for the players this weekend.
Telkom Knockout winners Baroka have been a mixed bag in the league of late‚ with two wins‚ two defeats and a draw in their last five matches.
Their problem on the road this campaign has been scoring goals‚ having found the back of the net on only three occasions in their eight games away from home.
By contrast‚ MTN8 champions City have the best home scoring record of any club in the league with 13 goals scored in eight games. Only AmaZulu have managed more home points this season.
PSL this weekend –
Black Leopards v SuperSport United (Thohoyandou Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
Cape Town City v Baroka FC (Cape Town Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
AmaZulu v Highlands Park (King Zwelithini Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
Bloemfontein Celtic v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Dr Molemela Stadium‚ 3.30pm)