Benni McCarthy backs Manyama to improve this season

The newly appointed coach feels his captain is on the right path and is capable of emulating his previous season's performances

Cape Town City attacker Lebogang Manyama needs no motivation to replicate last season’s performances and is a fantastic professional, according to manager Benni McCarthy.

Manyama was at the forefront of City’s surge toward trophy contention last season, as he led them to the Telkom Knockout title and a Caf Confederations Cup spot after finishing third in the Premier Soccer League.

The 26-year-old notched 14 goals for the Cape side across all completions and his fairytale continued into the PSL Awards, as he took home top honours in three of the four categories he was nominated for. Manyama bagged the Footballer of the Season, Top Goal-scorer and Player’s Player of the Season gongs.

And with three-weeks left ahead of the new season, Citizens coach McCarthy believes there could be no reason Manyama cannot replicate his performances from the previous campaign.

“There is not much to do for me because I believe Lebo is a good professional and has been in the game for long,” McCarthy told Goal.

“And he knows what to do if he needs advice because I think when I was a player I was in a similar situation too and a little bit of pep talk here and there wouldn’t do harm.

“But I think he knows that when you come from such a good season, for you to even equal that season and do even better, you have to work harder, you have to put in a harder shift because now everybody’s eyes are on you and teams are gunning for you and if you maintain the same rotation you don’t feel that you need to work harder, because you’ve got it, then that’s where you are going to fall flat and then people are going to dub you as a one hit season wonder.

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“But if you put in the work, of which he is doing fantastically, I can only see him getting better and better and next season he can do even better than what he did last season, because he is a player that is always willing to put in a shift, he works hard and he leads by example.

“So, there is not much I could say to motivate or encourage him because he is a good professional and he knows success doesn’t get handed to you, you have to work for it," concluded the former FC Porto forward.

City are expected to begin life under McCarthy’s tutelage with a home fixture against Polokwane City in the Quarter-Final of the MTN-8 in the second week of August although no official date has been set yet.