CAPE TOWN – City may be in the grip of a good run of form at the moment, but Benni McCarthy is not in the mood to get carried away, especially with a tricky fixture against Polokwane City in the offing at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium tonight (7.30pm kickoff).
City coach McCarthy said he would have preferred the fixture to be played at the Limpopo Province’s 2010 World Cup Stadium - the New Peter Mokaba Stadium - as that would suit his team a lot more.
The ground at the old venue in Polokwane is tight and small, and that allows the opposition to congest the playing areas,” said McCarthy. “It hands them the advantage, but it is what (it) is, and we have to make the most of it.
Polokwane will be a tough game; they are a difficult side to face. Also, they are playing well at the moment, which is why we will have to be at our best, and be ready for whatever they bring on the night.”
Immediately after Sunday’s training session in preparation for the long trip to Polokwane, McCarthy took a short walk over to the Cape PSL club’s new artificial pitch laid at the Malta Park grounds adjacent to the main Hartleyvale fields. The new surface will be used by City’s junior teams.
After a friendly game to open the facility, McCarthy was once again focused on just one thing: to get his City team primed for Polokwane.
“We have good momentum now and we have to make sure that we keep it going,” said McCarthy. “The international break probably wasn’t ideal because we had just turned around our form at that stage. But we worked hard during the break and I’m sure the players can’t wait to get back into action.
“With the run-in we have until the end of the year, we are looking at targeting a good finish to the first half of the season. In that time, we face none of the big teams in the PSL. With no disrespect to the opposing teams, we should be looking at picking up as many points as we can, and then see if we can secure at least a top-five spot by the end of the year.”
McCarthy also confirmed that he would be giving Ugandan Allan Kateregga a break, with veteran Teko Modise coming in to start against Polokwane tonight.
“Kateregga has just returned from international duty with Uganda and is a bit tired,” said McCarthy. “(Tonight’s) fixture against Polokwane could be ideal for Teko’s passing game.”
This week’s PSL fixtures:
Tonight: Maritzburg United v Chippa United; Highlands Park v AmaZulu; Polokwane City v Cape Town City (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, 7.30pm)
Tomorrow: Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport United@Reinerss11