Cape Town City may be slight underdogs going into their anticipated MTN8 final clash, but head coach Benni McCarthy has downplayed talk of pressure as he and his troops take a second bite at the proverbial cherry.
All eyes will fall on the Moses Mabhida Stadium as the Citizens lock horns with the reigning champions SuperSport United, and McCarthy will be keen to iron out the mistakes which saw them fail last time around.
“There’s no pressure for me and the team,” McCarthy told the media.
“When I took the job, I said that I don’t want to wait 10 years to dispute my first cup final. And now I’m in my second season and twice we are in the final. I want to win it. The team deserves to be in the final. I don’t want to be that team that gets to finals but can’t get over the line,” he added.
However, the Bafana Bafana legend is under no illusions of the difficulty of the task at hand. McCarthy though, remains positive that his troops have what it takes to win their maiden MTN8 title on Saturday.
“It won’t be easy,” he said.
“SuperSport have found their range now and are playing well,” he continued.
“The atmosphere at training this week has been really good. I expected to see nerves and butterflies kicking in, but the boys have been really calm. We’ve just been training and working on things that need to improve,” he explained.
“We have to build on the positives of the good second-half comeback against Pirates,” he expressed.
“I want to have headaches, who to leave out and who not to leave out. I don’t want it to be made easy for me with few players out injured,” McCarthy elaborated.
Speaking of injuries, McCarthy revealed that Bradley Ralani is in a race against time to be fit for the clash but suggested that new signing Tokelo Rantie could be unleashed against Matsatsantsa, should he be given the green light.
“We are hopeful, he’s been mainly working with the fitness coach and the physio as he’s had a setback,” McCarthy revealed.
“We pushed him really hard because we wanted him to get back into shape and the level where we know he can hurt teams in this league as he’s one of the best strikers out there in the country. And we want him at his best. Us pushing him he’s had a couple of setbacks. His hamstring is a bit tight, so we’ve now reduced his workload to see how he responds,” he said.
“If we get the okay by tomorrow then hopefully we can go into Thursday with the possibility that he might be there. I’m not saying he’s going to be there, but there might be a possibility that we might have him available for a cameo appearance,” McCarthy added.
Furthermore, McCarthy predicts a tightly contested affair when the two sides lock horns.
“I think the team that makes the least mistakes, the team that has the biggest heart, that’s the team that will come out on top,” he concluded.