Taariq Fielies in line for Citizens comeback
CAPE TOWN – Fit-again centre-back Taariq Fielies could be in coach Benni McCarthy’s starting line-up to face Golden Arrows in a Premiership clash at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
Having recovered ahead of schedule from appendicitis, Fielies took part in training and never backed off making challenges, so McCarthy will be tempted to include the one-cap South African international after witnessing sloppy errors from mainly his central defenders who cost the Citizens potential three-pointers.
They have one win from five games which places them 10th in the standings headed by Kaizer Chiefs.
“Taariq brings that order of calmness, and the aggressiveness the team is missing he brings that back. We will see how he feels at the end of our final training session before deciding on whether to play him,” said McCarthy.
If he gets the nod, it could be at the expense of the inexperienced youngster Keanu Cupido, who did his chances no good when he kicked fresh air trying to clear a benign incoming ball that led to a goal being scored by SuperSport United in a game that ended in a 3-3 draw last weekend. There are a handful of others who haven’t covered themselves in glory.
The latest stalemate, and City’s third, didn’t sit well with McCarthy who felt half the team lacked professionalism, saying their places were under threat once his injured players returned. One such player returning was midfielder Thabo Nodada, who scored a brace against United.
McCarthy wants South African players to realise that talent can only get you so far, saying talent will get you nowhere if you are unwilling to work hard, if you are unwilling to match your opponents. Some footballers can be brimming with talent, but they do not get very far.
He still believes he has a good team and feels being back at Cape Town Stadium after having played at three other venues for home games could spark his charges to go on a winning run.
“We have a good record at home and teams coming here know that. It’s our turf and our goal is to protect it at all costs,” he said.
“We are expecting a different game from what we’ve faced so far, Arrows are a good footballing team. For us, it’s about getting over the line, picking up three points.
“When you look back on last season, we either won or lost, we couldn’t hold down a draw.”
The Cape’s second PSL team, Stellenbosch FC, tackle fellow strugglers Black Leopards at Athlone Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off) and will be bidding for a first victory in the top flight.
Mike de Bruyn