Benni McCarthy says he now knows much more about football as a coach than he did as a player after completing his Uefa Pro Licence. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy was glued to the TV screen on Wednesday night, watching Black Leopards’ 1-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs.

And afterwards, despite the Limpopo team’s loss, the Cape Town City coach came away rather impressed.

As such, when McCarthy’s team tackle Black Leopards in a PSL fixture at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday (3.30pm), he is not taking anything for granted.

In fact, he is treading rather cautiously.

“Leopards’ game (against Chiefs) gave me a good indication of what we are up against,” said McCarthy.

“They are a newly promoted team, but they haven’t disappointed. They are a hard working team, they’re very sound technically, and they can cause problems if we do not do our homework.

“But while Leopards are dangerous, they also commit quite a lot of players forward. They are always attacking.

“If we can bypass their high press, then we can have situations where our strikers or midfielders have one-on-ones with their defenders.

“More importantly, we are on a good run now. The last win over AmaZulu was fantastic.

“We managed to score more than one goal, and now we have to continue with that same mindset against Leopards.”

McCarthy wasn’t prepared to give too much away as he prepared for Leopards, but asked about the possibility of playing left back Edmilson in the centre of defence again, his face did betray a bit of a smile.

So more than likely, the classy, composed Mozambican left back will again do duty alongside Taariq Fielies in the middle of City’s defence.

The positional switch was first used two weeks ago, when the Cape side defeated AmaZulu 3-0.

Because of injury and suspension, McCarthy had only one centre-back, Fielies, and he had a decision to make. The coach opted for Edmilson, and the Mozambican was absolutely brilliant.

Now McCarthy is more than tempted to stick to the status quo.

“Edmilson can be the perfect Ramos for me,” said McCarthy in reference to Real Madrid and Spain central defender Sergio Ramos.

“He offers us a better stability because he is a left-footer playing on the left side of central defence.”

Having been the recipient of a Uefa Pro Licence coaching badge last week, McCarthy, needless to say, was asked how he felt now that he was in possession of the highest coaching qualification in Europe.

“It’s a nice feeling,” he said. “I’m just a novice coach, but I have the highest qualification. For me, the point of it all was always that I wanted to educate myself.

“And I have to say that I now know a lot of things I didn’t when I was a player.

“I am able to see the other side of things, how coaching actually works, the difficulty of it all, and the amount of thinking and planning involved.”


Cape Argus

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