City coach Jan Olde Riekerink will be hoping for his first win when his charges face Chippa United on Saturday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - New Cape Town City coach Jan Olde Riekerink will be hoping for his first win when his charges face Chippa United in the Absa Premiership at Athlone Stadium on Saturday (6pm kick-off).

The 56-year Dutchman, who replaced the fired Benni McCarthy, was in the dugout for the previous two matches separated by five days and has had to settle for a share of the spoils in goalless draws away against Bloemfontein Celtic and at home when facing Highlands Park.

From 13 league outings the Citizens have netted two wins, seven draws and four losses, leaving them in 11th place on the 16-team log standings on 13 points, a mere two points ahead of bottom-placed Chippa.

Riekerink wasn’t too concerned about the number of chances squandered against Highlands saying the opportunities created showed the team was on the right track.

He was also chuffed to see the way his charges handled the robust play of a rival renowned for its physical approach.

But he does want to see more discipline on the pitch?

“We need to play in a structure but one that offers the ability to be creative,” he said making it clear he wanted to best use the energy of Thabo Nodada in midfield for example, by freeing him up from defensive tasks to work more at trying to prise open opposing defences.

“I believe in individual qualities but also playing together. We need to get the basics right first but we can work on that.

“We can concentrate on the creativity once we know the basics.”

As for fitness levels, they’re on the up after two training sessions a day were introduced.

The players have responded well and now want to show their true colours, says team captain Thami Mkhize, who has been playing through the pain barrier after sustaining an ankle injury in the 2-1 defeat to then winless basement dwellers AmaZulu FC in October.

“For us, we’re only looking at our situation.

“Ever since the coach has come in the players have responded positively and they are willing to change our situation in the team,” said Mkhize.

“We played well against Celtic and Highlands, created chances but couldn’t win the games.

“We can only take away the positives on how we played the games and are also looking forward to playing the Chilli Boys and hopefully we can get the win.

“But they are always tough to play against as our past results suggest.”

Mike de Bruyn


Cape Argus

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