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City skipper Mkhize believes he can keep Chiefs star Billiat in his pocket

30 March 2019 - 14:22 By Mark Gleeson
Thamsanqa Mkhize of Cape Town City watched by head coach, Benni McCarthy. File photo.
Thamsanqa Mkhize of Cape Town City watched by head coach, Benni McCarthy. File photo.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Cape Town City captain Thamsanqa Mkhize says he is ready for the challenge of facing up to Khama Billiat when his side take on Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium on Sunday.

“Me? I’m always ready‚” said the right-back‚ fresh from helping South Africa to qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals but who is likely to be severely tested by Billiat’s pace and dribbling ability.

“I enjoy testing myself against those guys. Enjoying playing football is the most important‚” he said on Thursday as City went through their paces ahead of the weekend cup tie.

“I’ve learnt that if you want to enjoy what you are doing‚ you must always work hard. For me‚ whenever I’m on the pitch‚ I always try to express myself‚ to do what the coach wants me to do and I always try to help my teammates where I can.”

Mkhize said he is more concerned about his ability to contribute‚ and that he has license now from coach Benni McCarthy to bomb forward and help make‚ or even score‚ goals himself.

“He is always telling me I’m getting into the right position but I don’t take the right decision. He says I must be selfish when I get into the box and shoot. You never know what might happen.”

Former Bafana midfielder Teko Modise has also been coaching the skipper.

“He says to me that given the decision that I’ve coveted to get forward that I must make full use of the opportunity‚” the right-back said.

Mkhize‚ even though he is a defender‚ will be one of several attacking options as McCarthy is expected to go at Chiefs from the outset.

“Ever since I’ve been with City‚ I cannot remember a time we didn’t have to play a cup competition where we don’t play against a big team‚ so we know we have to be ready‚” Mkhize added.

“We always want to compete for every trophy‚ so this is another opportunity for us to be in a final.

“We know Chiefs are a big team in South Africa and we have to give them that respect. But when we are on that pitch the most important thing is to execute what we have been doing here in training so that we are able to win the game and go to the semifinals.

“We as Cape Town City always push ourselves because we want to achieve things. I know the guys are up for the challenge of playing against Chiefs on Sunday.”