CAPE TOWN - Benni McCarthy has a busy time ahead, not only because he has to motivate his stuttering Cape Town City side for two crunch league fixtures this week, but he also has to make sure that they are able to cope without his presence the following week.
The former Bafana Bafana striker is in possession of his UEFA A Licence, but is currently in the process of completing the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification in Europe. But, having already postponed one trip in this regard, he cannot do so again. Club boss John Comitis was fully aware of McCarthy’s issues in this regard when he appointed him, and understands he has to lose the coach for a short while next week.
McCarthy will be take up his position on the bench this week, but will head to Europe next week to complete a part of the Pro course, and will miss next week’s CAF Confederation Cup first leg clash against Costa do Sol in Mozambique. And, at the end of April, he is scheduled to head back to Europe again for another section of the course.
Tuesday, though, City are in Polokwane for a tricky PSL encounter against an unpredictable Baroka FC side (7.30pm) - and then, on Friday night, McCarthy’s men are back at home when they host Chippa United at the Athlone Stadium (8pm).
With City not in a good space at the moment, after three consecutive league defeats, McCarthy is determined to turn things around before he heads for Europe.
On Saturday, they lost to Bidvest Wits for the first time in five matches, going down 2-1 at Athlone, with the club’s former striker Lehohlonolo Majoro netting twice for the visitors. As a result, City are now in sixth position on the PSL standings, with 31 points, nine behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Against Wits, it was a case of three points lost for us,” said McCarthy. “We’ve got a tough one against Baroka on Tuesday and we just have to rectify our mistakes. We are playing good football, but, against Wits, we were undone by two lapses in concentration at the back. As long as we continue playing the way we are, I’m sure things will eventually swing our way.
“It was an entertaining, exciting game against Wits. It had a bit of everything. I thought overall we had the better of the game, but mistakes at crucial times cost us. It allowed Wits to grow in the game and they’ve been in really good form of late.”
McCarthy, who was given his start in professional football by Wits coach Gavin Hunt, has had the better of his mentor this season. City won the four previous games, but found Saturday a bridge too far. Needless to say, McCarthy is disappointed.
“It would have been nice to make it five out of five against Hunty,” said the City coach. “But I thought we let Wits off the hook. We should be making our home advantage count, but we just can’t get the ball into the net with greater consistency.”