“He lives a healthy, clean life, and is the most disciplined player you are going to find in football,” says Benni McCarthy about Siphelele Mthembu. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City are on a roll, but that has not stopped him from still taking a few players to task for rookie mistakes.

His charges delivered the goods by beating Free State Stars 5-0 at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night for a record victory for the club in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) since debuting in the 2016/17 season.

The Citizens rose to fourth place in the standings on 27 points, six points behind league leaders Bidvest Wits.

“We played like I know we can, and the result is proof of what we are capable of when we play at our best,” said McCarthy.

Siphelele Mthembu’s goal against his former club in the second half took his tally to seven for the season, his most prolific yet, and placed him at the top of the PSL goal scoring charts with Highlands Park’s Mothobi Mvala.

“Shaka, who joined us in 2018, has done it on his own,” said McCarthy.

“He’s a player who puts in the hard yards, he works exceptionally well. He lives a healthy, clean life, and is the most disciplined player you are going to find in football.

“I give him the guidelines, the platform. I tell him to go and enjoy himself and play to his strengths, and he is comfortable with the fact that he’s got the ability to strike fear into any defence.”

Another player among the goals is central midfielder Roland Putsche, his brace hot on the heels of the one he scored at the weekend that got his side a 2-2 draw with Baroka FC.

Left wing Gift Links, 20, cashed in with two goals as well, both coming during a rampant second-half display.

He’s a small, pencil-thin, pacy fellow who is at his best when running towards the goalkeeper. It is no surprise to hear City chairman John Comitis say he’s the “future of SA football”.

But there were a few players who felt McCarthy’s wrath at halftime.

He will not tolerate sloppy play or rookie mistakes, and they know who they are. And next time he sees one of his players try and pass the ball through the legs of an opponent, it will be the last time, he says.

City’s next PSL date is on February 1 away to Kaizer Chiefs. Amakhosi won the corresponding fixture in the Mother City 4-1.

Cape Argus

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