CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy is a frustrated coach - and rightly so.
Cape Town City are continuing to fire blanks in front of goal and a quick look at the PSL standings suggests that, if City don’t turn things around soon, they could be sucked into an unwanted relegation scrap.
At the moment, the Cape side are third-from-bottom on the standings.
City come off a 2-0 defeat to AmaZulu in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout, and head coach McCarthy is wrestling with two issues: the team’s inability to convert opportunities into goals; and the exasperation of watching the continued inconsistency of his players.
Now, back in action tomorrow, they face the same opposition - AmaZulu - in a league fixture at Cape Town Stadium (8.15pm kickoff).
Needless to say, McCarthy will ring the changes, discarding those who disappointed in the Cup defeat on Tuesday - and, more than that, he will be demanding an improvement with regards to goals. City have not scored in their last four fixtures.
If there’s a player McCarthy would love to see come good, it’s burly striker Siphelele Mthembu. Since his arrival at City at the start of the season, McCarthy has always rated the man he calls “Shaka Zulu”.
Mthembu is a powerful, hard-running forward and, with his physical presence and lay-off ability, he is able to set up scoring chances for teammates.
McCarthy loves such unselfish, hardworking footballers, but he also wants Mthembu to be more prolific in front of goal. The player is, after all, a striker.
As City prepare to face AmaZulu, Mthembu was frank about the team’s dire situation.
“It’s not good to lose,” said Mthembu in reflecting on the Cup loss to AmaZulu on Tuesday. “It’s now time for us to man up, to stand up as a team moving forward.
“We have to focus on the league and improve our position. As for the problem of scoring goals, we have to face it as a collective; we have to fight as a team.
“It’s not a case of focusing on one department only, it’s the responsibility of all departments in the team to say we will be clinical when we get a chance to score.
“And, as for us as strikers, it’s just the nature of the game.”
Today: Wits v Highlands Park
Tomorrow: Pirates v Chiefs; Polokwane City v Maritzburg; Chippa v Sundowns; City v AmaZulu
Sunday: Leopards v Stars; SuperSport v Arrows; Celtic v Baroka