Soccer

Fish: Benni must be careful

2009-12-31 13:57
Mark Fish (File)
Johannesburg - Former South Africa defender Mark Fish has warned Benni McCarthy that Sam Allardyce could stand in the way of his wish to leave Blackburn.

Bafana Bafana's record goal scorer expressed his desire to leave Ewood Park in the January transfer window after he was ordered in for extra training by Allardyce following Rovers' 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Monday.

Birmingham City are the latest club to be linked with a move for the 32-year-old but Fish, who spent a season under Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, believes his outburst may cost McCarthy in the long run.

"Sometimes players don't think before they talk and obviously if none of the other teams do come in then he'll be in trouble," he told Football365.co.za.

"I think he was wrong to talk about it publicly. I know Sam Allardyce can be a very difficult person when he wants to be. I could even see him blocking the move just to spite Benni - he did exactly the same thing with me when I wanted to move from Bolton to Charlton so he must be very careful."

Fish added: "He told the fans stories that weren't true to turn them against me because he's that type of person."

Despite scoring his first Premier League goal of the season against Wigan on Boxing Day, McCarthy was told he must report at 7am every day this week in order to boost his fitness levels. The former Ajax and FC Porto striker felt he was being singled out unfairly and admitted that it was time to move on after a three-and-a-half year spell at Ewood Park.

Fish said: "He now finds himself in a bit of a situation because he has to be sure about where he is going to go. There's no time to waste because at his age this will be his last chance to move clubs. I think Benni is looking for a bit of sympathy by saying he's been dragged in early but that's part of being employed. Whatever job you do, you have to do it to the best of your ability otherwise you're going to get criticism."

He added: "I think he's a little bit wrong coming out and saying to the newspapers what his situation is but ultimately he will be judged on what happens now."

Having started just six Premier League matches this term, McCarthy has been warned by South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira that he must feature in more games to be considered for next year's World Cup on home soil. Fish thinks there is still time for him to have a massive impact on the tournament but warned that many supporters will be expecting him to fail.

"In his position he has to be careful because there are a lot of people who are anti-Benni because of what he has done to the country in the past," he said.

"An in-form Benni has to be in the national team because he is our best chance to score goals." 

Read more on:    mark fish
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