CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy has made no secret that he believes 35-year-old Teko Modise still has a lot to offer Cape Town City.
But at the same time, the City coach is also fully aware he has to manage the player’s workload carefully.
As such, Modise has been used sparingly this season, with McCarthy allowing the veteran midfielder the opportunity to rest whenever he needs to.
But now, after the international break, McCarthy says it is time to throw the experienced schemer back into the fray.
City are in action against a tricky Polokwane City tonight (7.30pm) at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium – and McCarthy believes Modise is the right man for the job.
The City coach confirmed that he would be giving Ugandan Allan Kateregga a break.
“Kateregga has just returned from international duty with Uganda and is a bit tired,” said McCarthy.
“I’ve always said that, with Teko’s age, I have to manage him properly, and pick and choose which games in which to play him.
“(Tonight’s) fixture against Polokwane could be ideal for his passing game, and for the tempo of the team.”
While City may be in the grip of a good run of form at the moment, McCarthy is not in the mood to get carried away, especially with a difficult fixture against Polokwane in the offing.
The former Bafana Bafana striker said he would have preferred the fixture to be played at Limpopo’s 2010 World Cup Stadium – the New Peter Mokaba Stadium – as that would suit his team a lot more.
“The ground at the old venue in Polokwane is tight and small, and that allows the opposition to congest the playing areas,” said McCarthy.
“It hands them the advantage, but it is what is, and we have to make the most of it."
Immediately after Sunday’s training session in preparation for the long trip to Polokwane, McCarthy took a short walk over to the Cape PSL club’s new artificial pitch laid at the Malta Park grounds, adjacent to the main Hartleyvale fields.
The new surface will be used by City’s junior teams.
On Sunday, though, to open the facility, it featured a friendly game between City’s staff and a media team, and a 41-year-old McCarthy was able to show off some of the skill that made him an international football star.
The media won 5-4, but McCarthy did manage to score a goal for his side.
Afterwards, McCarthy was once again focused on just one thing: to get his City team primed for Polokwane.
“We have good momentum now, after wins against AmaZulu and Black Leopards, and we have to make sure that we keep it going,” said McCarthy.
“The international break probably wasn’t ideal because we had just turned around our form at that stage. But we worked hard during the break, and I’m sure the players can’t wait to get back into action.
“With the run-in we have until the end of the year, we are looking at targeting a good finish to the first half of the season.”