Mon. May 20th, 2019

Nedbank Cup: McCarthy shows Cape Town City’s hand ahead of Kaizer Chiefs clash

golden arrows vs cape town cityBenni McCarthy has signalled Cape Town City’s intent to throw everything at Kaizer Chiefs this Sunday.

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Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has laid out his side’s intention to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Kaizer Chiefs to secure a place in the last four of the Nedbank Cup.

McCarthy could be the man who gets to savour Chiefs 2018/19 season turning to dust in Nelspruit this Sunday. Chiefs have underperformed this season, something that already cost Giovanni Solinas his job as manager. Ernst Middendorp was brought back in and has since steadied the rocking ship but has yet to chart a course for success. Chiefs are seventh in the PSL leaving the Nedbank Cup as their only realistic shot at a trophy this term.

The pressure to deliver silverware will make Chiefs a very dangerous opponent for Cape Town City and McCarthy has acknowledged that his team need to put in a very special effort.

“We know we have to go guns blazing – we will go all out and we know we will have to play a perfectly-executed game against Chiefs if we want to have any chance‚” McCarthy said.

“We will try and be solid‚ and nice and compact‚ we want to control the ball‚ we want to be the ones to dictate the way we play and the pace we play with.”

McCarthy highlighted the need to, in the words of former Chiefs boss Steve Khompela, ‘counter the counter’ or if you prefer English: negate the counter-attacking threat posed by Kaizer Chiefs.

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The Cape Town City boss zoned in on Chief’s forward Khama Billiat as the main threat up front and Leandro Castro as Amakhosi’s supply line.

“The last few games analysing Chiefs‚ since Middendorp has come in they have become a ‘transition’ team‚ they try to hit teams on the counter‚ which they are exceptionally good at. The focus for us is to try and stop that‚” McCarthy said.

“With the experience and quality that Bernard Parker possesses‚ when he gets an opportunity‚ for me he is still one of the bests strikers we have out there in the modern [South African] game. He is very intelligent.

“Khama Billiat‚ on his day‚ when he is in the mood for football and the mood to play‚ then you know you are going to be on your heels – you have to be switched on. He is one of the most lethal players we have in the league.

“Then you have Leonardo Castro‚ he is probably the main focus for Chiefs because everything goes through him.

“His aerial ability‚ his intelligence‚ his hold-up play‚ how he interlinks. Chiefs go very direct at times‚ straight to Castro and then he brings other players into play‚ Billiat and Parker running off him.

“Then there is George Maluleka‚ [Dumisani] Zuma‚ whoever plays in that No 10 position. They attack with numbers.”

McCarthy hopes the age-old adage ‘who controls the midfield, controls the game’ will ring true and that his team are able to snuff out Chiefs challenge in the middle of the park.

“If we can control the midfield‚ we give ourselves a great opportunity because everybody knows we are comfortable on the ball. Our midfield ball rotation is good‚ then we use the pace of our wide men.

“We will sit and design a play that we think can cope with what Chiefs have to throw at us. When we get the opportunity‚ we will try and hit them where it hurts the most – with speed.”

McCarthy is happy to get a full compliment of fit players returning to his squad after international duty ahead of the huge cup meeting with Chiefs.

“We have got everybody back. [Thamsanqa] Mkhize is back from Bafana duty‚ where he served his country extremely well.

“Gift Links and Keanu Cupido are also back from the Under-23 side. [Mozambique international] Edmilson has returned‚ all our players are looking good.

“The ones who stayed behind with us‚ we had a really good week‚ with excellent training sessions.

“The quality has been really good – as a coach I cannot complain about the preparations that we have had.”

Kaizer Chiefs face Cape Town City in their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday 31 March.

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