CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City have yet to play to their full potential. Their form so far in the Premier Soccer League illustrates this statement as they have just four wins from 12 games.
It sees the Citizens in mid-table eighth in the standings on 16 points, with Orlando Pirates setting the pace with 24. Wits are a point behind Pirates in second, while defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City make up the top five three points off the pace.
City have won three of their last four fixtures heading into today’s home clash with Chippa United at the Athlone Stadium (kickoff 7.30pm).
It would come as a bit of a shock to the system if the home side were to lose to a rival who arrives in the Mother City winless from their last six games and with a new coach, Joel Masutha. The Chilli Boys have only won two times and have a 50 percent losing record from 12 games.
City’s assistant coach Vasili Manousakis would like to see more fight from his last line with the emphasis on challenging for the ball on the ground and in the air.
“This part of our makeup needs jacking up.,” he said. “The result is we’ve been playing at 60% potential,” said Vasili Manousakis. “We’ve scored the highest number of goals (16) but we still have so many areas to improve. Leaking 16 goals is a worry.
“In this regard, we expect Taariq Fielies, our captain Thamsanqa Mkhize as well as Ebrahim Seedat to improve defensively.
“The substitutes in their places must start making more of an impact as well. We are looking for Roland Putsche, Thabo Nodada and Teko Modise to assert themselves against Chippa by taking control of the midfield battles,” continued Manousakis.
“The trio have been fantastic for us but, in the 2-0 loss at Highlands Park, we were a bit off in the middle of the field, and this is one of our key strengths. All this said, I believe we can get the desired result against Chippa.”
City’s first-team regulars must know that the fringe players will be itching to step into the fray.
The youngsters in the reserve team will be looking on but do need to show more hunger for a chance to impress head coach Benni McCarthy.
The Citizens would like to breach the 20-point mark before the Christmas break. That means a four-point gain from the ties against Chippa and Celtic, but six would be the goal.
Mike de Bruyn