CAPE TOWN – City coach Benni McCarthy has joked that perhaps he should be thinking about lacing up his boots again, considering how woeful his team continues to be in front of goal.
Again on Tuesday against a limited Young Buffaloes team from Swaziland, despite the Cape side dominating of possession and creating a host of scoring opportunities, they had to be content with a 1-0 victory.
It was a case of mixed feelings for McCarthy after his City side eased into the second round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
They defeated the Swazis at the Athlone Stadium – for a 2-0 aggregate victory – but McCarthy was still feeling a bit frustrated.
On the one hand, for the inter-continental competition, the former Bafana Bafana striker was able to rotate the squad to allow game time for his fringe players, but on the other hand, the team’s inability to score goals continues to be a major source of exasperation.
“It looks like a smash and grab again,” said McCarthy. “1-0, 1-0, that’s all we can do, and it’s just so frustrating. We create numerous chances, but just cannot seem to score. I don’t know what to do any more. Every week, every single training session, we spend time on scoring goals. We do cut-backs, we do shooting, we allow players confidence on the ball, we work on their composure, but come game time... nothing.
“Perhaps I should think about having some liposuction and, as a 40-year-old, get on the pitch and show them how it should be done.”
It’s a work in progress for McCarthy – so despite his disappointment, he remains committed to seeing his team have a good run in the CAF event.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to make changes and give guys who haven’t played that much some game time,” said McCarthy. “It’s games in which they can show themselves and give me a headache when it comes to selection.
“The CAF campaign is important because we are not only representing the club, we’re representing South Africa as well. So I want to take it seriously – and it would be nice to go all the way. Obviously there is the financial burden, but I think if a club gets to the latter stages of the competition, then you can make the money back.
“It’s good that I can give players a run in CAF, and keep them happy because they have an opportunity to play. But at the same time, I still want to try to win it.”
Next up for City is a league match against Bidvest Wits at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday (6pm kickoff) – and McCarthy is looking to continue his extraordinary superiority over his mentor, Gavin Hunt.
The two sides have already met on four previous occasions this season and City and McCarthy have won every match.
Make no mistake, Wits coach Hunt won’t be happy with the situation, and he’ll have his men determined to put an end to what is a rather embarrassing statistic.