JOHANNESBURG - Short of beating his chest like Tarzan following his side’s triumph on Sunday afternoon to reach the final of the MTN8, Cape Town City mentor Benni McCarthy told reporters his charges were made in his image.
“The character of the team is a reflection of the manager,” said the 39-year-old, whose side will face SuperSport United in the final on October 14.
The Mother City outfit dumped reigning champions Bidvest Wits out of the cup with a 3-1 aggregate score, the result not only stretching McCarthy’s winning streak to five out of five, but also making it three victories in as many matches for the young protégé against Gavin Hunt, a man considered to be his mentor.
City also managed a shock victory at the same venue on the opening day of the Premiership season when Lehlohonolo Majoro scored the only goal to give the coach his first league win since taking over from Eric Tinkler, who is now at SuperSport.
“When you have a coach who doesn’t accept anything but 100 percent, You go out and give it your best. I have not asked them to play the world’s best football. All I asked was for commitment, to do their best and match them (Wits) as they are a tough side to play,” McCarthy said.
“And because they do everything that I ask, you can’t fault them. We are starting to have that winning mentality. You can see the fight out there. When I was a player I was a winner. These guys have a never-say-die attitude and we are empowering that attitude with every game.”
"I see a little bit of myself in him, on his day he can finish anything. Once 1 goes in then the goals will start rolling in." - Coach Benni pic.twitter.com/lzYft9fU8x
Despite having joked that coaching might not be as hard as his colleagues had made it out to be, McCarthy said he was still wondering why he took a huge risk by giving up a job as a pundit to be right in the thick of it as a PSL coach.
“It is still the most difficult job ever,” said Bafana Bafana’s all-time goal scorer. “And I ask myself every day what made me want to do this. I could have been enjoying being an analyst there at SuperSport, chilled. Here I am getting grey hairs, and after every game my voice is gone. But I love the adrenalin, and I love what it gives me, especially when players put up such an unbelievable fight.”
McCarthy, who goes head-to-head with beleaguered Steve Komphela of Kaizer Chiefs in a league clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday, said a winning streak was the furthest thing from his mind when the fixture list was released.
“When I saw the first few games I thought to myself that I get my first chance to be a manager and already they want me to be the first coach to be fired,” he explained. “But once a winner always a winner. You don’t lose that. ”