Goals not a Major concern for Benni
CAPE Town City coach Benni McCarthy admits he was extremely frustrated at his team’s inability to finish off the opposition at the weekend.
The Cape side is through to the semi-finals of the MTN8 after a 1-0 win over Polokwane City at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, but it should have been a far easier victory, though, as City squandered a host of scoring opportunities.
The 39-year-old all-time leading scorer for Bafana Bafana says his frustration had him wishing he was out on the field, doing what he does best: scoring goals.
“I was entertained by what I saw from my team,” said McCarthy. “It was just so frustrating that we missed chance after chance. Sometimes I thought maybe I should put my boots on and show them how it’s done.
“Overall, however, I have to say that I don’t have too many complaints about the performance. We just have to make sure that we kill the game off earlier, so that the opposition doesn’t hang in there towards the end and keep thinking they have a chance.”
The main culprit for City, with regard to missed opportunities, was 30-year-old striker Lehlohonolo Majoro. McCarthy, though, wasn’t too concerned – in fact, he emphasised he still has faith in the player and remains confident the goals will come.
“The advice that I will give to Majoro is to keep doing what he is doing,” said the City coach. “As a striker, the biggest problem is when you are not getting into scoring positions. Missing goals is part and parcel of the game… It’s when you are not at the end of chances that you have to start worrying. “I’m happy with ‘Major’. Saturday was just one of those occasions… I see a lot of myself in ‘Major’, in that, on his day, he can finish off any team. There is no panic at this stage and he remains the main guy up front for me.
“But, at least, now the first game is out of the way and I can focus ahead. As for Saturday, we wanted to win and that is what we got. I was initially surprised by Polokwane, but once we tweaked tactics a little we had their measure.”
City’s need to change things tactically was because of an injury to veteran midfielder Teko Modise during the warmup.
“Teko’s late withdrawal changed the dynamics of how we wanted to play,” McCarthy explained. “He is the player who is our trigger, he distributes the passes that makes the team play. When he was injured, we brought in Thabo Nodada, who is different to Teko in that he is more of an energetic, high press type of player.
“Initially we had a problem with Polokwane using their two holding midfielders to make things happen, but we then told Nodada to move higher up their field, forcing the opposition’s central midfielders deeper, and that took care of the problem. Without Teko, we didn’t dominate the ball as much as we perhaps wanted to, but we got over the line, we got the win.”
The PSL’s opening week league programme kicks off this week, with City back in action on Friday night when they are in Johannesburg to take on champions Wits. The other Mother City PSL club, Ajax Cape Town, are at home to Golden Arrows at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.