While Ajax Cape Town and City have experienced conflicting fortunes of late, speaking at a joint press conference ahead of the derby, McCarthy was a confident figure. The 39-year-old spoke of the allure of the derby, before stating that the game was more than just about the three-points but rather about bragging rights.
“All derbies are very special, as we are playing for bragging rights in the city,” McCarthy told the media on Tuesday.
“Ajax have come a long way, they have a wealth of history. But even though we’re only two years old, we are showing that we are a club that means business. And for us to want to continue in that spirit, we have to ensure that we claim those bragging rights of the city. So yes, for us it’s a three-point game, but derbies are special.
McCarthy also revealed that this year’s derby has added significance as both teams have several Cape Town-born players within their ranks.
“A lot of the players in our team are from Cape Town, so they have family and friends here, and you want to be able to walk in your city and make those people proud,” McCarthy stated.
“I’m Capetonian and on the blue and gold side now, so for me it’s also about wanting to be on top of the hunting pack. We’re sitting in a good position in the league, and we want to continue that. We want to achieve things with this club, so starting with the derby on Saturday, we want to have the bragging rights.”
“The spirit has been high, and the guys are excited about the game,” McCarthy continued.
“For us it’s all about the three points, and a win would take us to the top of the league table. That’s where we want to see ourselves,” he added.
Meanwhile much has been said about the standard of officiating in the PSL of late, but Menzo was much more apathetic towards the issue.
“I think we give referees too much attention. In the end, we have to remember that we need them, but we don’t have much influence over what they do,” he said.
“I don’t spend my energy on what referees do, I rather focus on what I can control, which is my team and making sure that we play our own game. I would rather talk about football than referees.”
Nevertheless, McCarthy on the other hand utilised a more direct approach, pleading for a referee who would be fair after the Citizens have suffered of late thanks to poor refereeing decisions.
“People spend a lot of money to come and watch football, and I don’t think they want the referee to spoil things,” McCarthy said.
“All I ask for is that we have a fair ref for the derby. It’s going to be a physical match, and I don’t want a referee who is going to spoil the game. I just want some consistency from whoever is appointed to referee the match,” he emphasised.