City are out to skin Leop­ards

Cit­i­zens’ wanted man Putsche ea­ger to step up his game

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REINERS rod­

CAPE Town City have some­thing to build on when they host Black Leop­ards in an Absa Premiership fix­ture at the Cape Town Sta­dium to­mor­row (3.30pm).

Af­ter win­ning the MTN8 com­pe­ti­tion in Septem­ber, the Cape side ex­pe­ri­enced a bit of a slump in form and they par­tic­u­larly bat­tled to put the ball into the back of the net.

Two weeks ago, how­ever, nor­mal ser­vice was re­sumed when City cruised past AmaZulu 3-0.

The con­fi­dence was back, the pass­ing game was in op­er­a­tion and, even more im­por­tantly, the goals ar­rived.

It’s that con­fi­dence the Cit­i­zens want to build on to­mor­row. They want to main­tain the mo­men­tum of the vic­tory over AmaZulu – and Aus­trian mid­fielder Roland Putsche is op­ti­mistic of an­other good show­ing from the Capeto­ni­ans.

“Af­ter our last per­for­mance against AmaZulu, we will be well pre­pared for this one against Leop­ards,” said Putsche.

“I think even more im­por­tant than that last win was the fact that we showed what we can do as a team. We have the ta­lent. We also wanted to score more than one goal – and we did that.

“Now the chal­lenge is just to con­tinue in the same way.”

The 27-year-old Aus­trian is in his third sea­son with City, hav­ing signed shortly af­ter the es­tab­lish­ment of the club in 2016.

In that time, he has be­come an in­flu­en­tial mem­ber of the team; when fit and avail­able, he is the first name on coach Benni McCarthy’s team sheet.

Be­cause Leop­ards are a newly-pro­moted side, this will be the first time Putsche comes up against the team from the Lim­popo Province.

Three sea­sons ago, when he ar­rived in the PSL, Leop­ards were play­ing in the First Di­vi­sion.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to it (game against Leop­ards),” said the Aus­trian.

“It’s the first time I play against them - but, luck­ily, we will be play­ing at home – be­cause I’ve heard that it is a mis­sion to play them away.

“With re­gard to my form this sea­son, I think I’ve been a bit up and down. As a player, I love con­sis­tency. I’ve had some de­cent games and I’ve had some good games but there is lots of room for improve­ment.”

Putsche is hop­ing the step-up in his game, when he per­forms at his best, will ar­rive against Leop­ards to­mor­row.

Look­ing ahead, though, the big ques­tion is whether City will be able to hang on to the re­li­able, hard-work­ing Aus­trian.

His con­tract is up at the end of the sea­son and Putsche ad­mits there are other suit­ors for his ser­vices.

“There are op­por­tu­ni­ties, but I’m in no hurry to make a de­ci­sion,” said Putsche.

“There’s no stress – I have a good re­la­tion­ship with the boss (City owner John Comi­tis), and Cape Town is my sec­ond home. So when I make a de­ci­sion on my fu­ture, City will be the first to know.

“For now, though, it doesn’t mean that I’m leav­ing, and it doesn’t mean that I’m stay­ing.”

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