Cape Town City, in reeling off two successive victories, have soared to a respectable eighth position on the PSL standings.
After things were looking rather ominous last month when a bad slump had sucked the Citizens towards the basement, coach Benni McCarthy is a far happier man.
The 3-1 home win over Black Leopards on Sunday, to go with the 3-0 triumph against AmaZulu two weeks ago, would have resulted in the former Bafana Bafana striker celebrating his birthday in great spirits.
McCarthy turned 41 on Monday.
But while the City coach was chuffed that his players were finding their form and, finally, starting to score consistently, he admitted there was an issue still troubling him.
The Cape side may have eased past Leopards on Sunday, but McCarthy wasn’t satisfied with the complacency of his players.
“We started brightly,” said McCarthy. “I said to the guys that we needed to hit Leopards during the opening 15 minutes.
“We pressed them high and put them under pressure. I had watched Leopards play and I didn’t want them to settle.
“We used the build-ups and playing patterns we had been working on to good effect, playing two-touch football, and give-and-go, and it worked.
“Two of the goals we scored were products of what we do on the training pitch.
“But then came the disappointment. We thought it was easy, so we disrespected the opponents and we became sloppy and arrogant.
“We wanted to try flicks and tricks, and Leopards scored on the break. We got the second goal to take the lead again, but, by then, Leopards were back in the game.
“And they gave us a big scare in the second half.
“While we deserved to win, I have to credit Leopards – they pushed us all the way. They didn’t come here just to sit back for a point.”
City will only be back in action on November 27 (away to Polokwane City).
Take the ball. Pass the ball.
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It allows McCarthy an opportunity to work on a few things at training as well as allowing a few key players to recover from injury.
“It was a bit of juggle in the second half against Leopards,” said the City coach.
“Roland Putsche, Thabo Nodada and Surprise Ralani were all struggling with niggles. I wanted to make changes, but it’s always difficult when some of the other players are not on top of their game.
“Overall, I thought we played okay in stages, but it wasn’t enough. We need to be more consistent.
“Hopefully, now that we have won two in a row, we can go on a bit of a run now.
“I don’t know if the international break comes at the right time, because we are in such good form now. But we will use the time wisely.”