Benni McCarthy knows his Cape Town City side are in for a tough Absa Premiership outing against Platinum Stars at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday night.
And the City coach knows that because the man running the opposition coaching dugout will be someone he knows all too well - Roger de Sa.
“We do know each other well from our days at Orlando Pirates,” McCarthy said on Friday.
“I have utmost respect for him and what he’s achieved.
“He’s as passionate about the game as I am and he thrives when the chips are down. Look what he’s done, even with Stars still being in the bottom five.
“Bet on them heading north and clear of the danger zone in the coming weeks.
“That said, we want to return home with all three points, which would keep us in second place behind Mamelodi Sundowns who we beat 1-0 to end 2017 off on a high.
“Sundowns lead us by four points through 15 rounds, and we want to cut that back whenever the opportunity presents itself.”
McCarthy used the festive break to reflect on his rookie season as a head coach and says it’s been an up-and-down ride.
“Highs and lows definitely but being where we are on the standings is something that gives me great satisfaction.
“I’m still learning the trade, one that demands your full attention at all times and cares little for anything else but win, win, win.
“Then you have players coming and going; that makes things that much more challenging.
“But we aren’t losing big-name players for any other reason than more money being offered to them by the bigger clubs that we cannot match because the figures thrown around are unrealistic.
“So you lose players including your captain (Robyn Johannes leaves the Citizens at the end of the season) who you value highly and there’s not much you can do about it.
“On the flip side youngsters join the ranks and they want nothing more than to be given a chance to impress with their skillsets.
“These are the players that I want in my ranks. Those who move on do so with my blessing.
“But it does mean having to constantly juggle things around in the search for the best matchday squad. But I thrive on all that I have to deal with and wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Johannes heads off to Wits, the defending champions who find themselves stone last on the log.
“I had a close relationship with Robyn and to lose him to money is a bitter pill to swallow.
“He’s a big, big loss but being an ex-player I understand why he would go from a financial point of view; after all it’s his future at stake,” said McCarthy.
On a positive note, centre-forward Judas Moseamedi, 23, and right wing Craig Martin, 24, have signed new contracts, the club confirmed yesterday.
Moseamedi has been an incredible asset to the strike-force and the club has rewarded him with a new improved four-year contract.
Martin, who was scouted from the amateur leagues in Cape Town, has had a huge breakout season in the PSL, hence his new five-year contract.
City have so far signed three new players during the January transfer, the new faces being Kwanda Mngonyama (24), Kenyan Masoud Juma (21) and Bradley Ralani (30).
Today: Polokwane City v Mamelodi Sundowns, 3.30pm; SuperSport United v Kaizer Chiefs, 6pm; Orlando Pirates v Baroka FC, Platinum Stars v Cape Town City, both 8.15pm
Tomorrow: AmaZulu v Chippa United, Bloemfontein Celtic v Golden Arrows, both 3.30pm