CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City have put their quarter-final exit from the Nedbank Cup in the past and are aiming to return to winning ways in Durban on Saturday when they face Golden Arrows in a Premiership match at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (3pm kickoff).
The two sides played to a goalless draw in the first round at the Cape Town Stadium.
City are six places above Arrows in the standings, in fourth place.
“We are expecting a tough game against a side that will be on a high after making it into the semi-finals of the Cup,” said City head coach Benni McCarthy.
“They are a good opposition to play and will be on a high after securing passage into the next round of the Cup that we bowed out of after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.
“We’ve put the performance behind us, we are not a team that dwells too long on these kind of setbacks, we prefer to look ahead and have targeted a return to winning ways.
“But I do want to see a response from the players and I will be making a few changes from the team that played Chiefs because we need fresh legs, fresh ideas and hungry players to try and turn things round.
“It’s going to be a tricky tie with Arrows, they have a top coach in Steve Komphela who has got his system and his philosophy across to his players.
“It may come down to the team with the most heart, who shows the most courage and the desire to win this game, that will probably come away victorious.”
City’s longer-than-usual training session in the rain at Hartleyvale yesterday morning saw the squad focusing on ball retention, execution of set-pieces and players - no matter from what position they play - taking shots at goals from distance.
City are renowned for their slow built-ups and speed in the middle of the field and out wide before launching sorties on goal, traits that weren’t seen against Chiefs.
Some of their big-name players were missing in action as well and must make their presence felt if the Citizens are to come away with all three points and keep the pressure on the three teams ahead of them on the table.
A defeat will severely dent hopes of a title challenge, taking into account that their next game is against Bloemfontein Celtic the following Sunday.
Mike de Bruyn