Hlatshwayo plots for Benni

2012-04-26 14:25
Benni McCarthy (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Ajax Cape Town's versatile defender Thulani Hlatshwayo says he's got an idea of how to shut down Orlando Pirates marksman Benni McCarthy.

The two clubs will collide in a Premiership contest at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.

"Having trained with him (McCarthy) during preseason and obviously watching him play for Pirates, there is no doubt in saying he is a quality striker," Hlatshwayo told

"I've noted that the only way to win the battle against McCarthy is to capitalise on his frustration.

"He is a striker who doesn't like to be harassed and kicked around, so if you do that part properly, it quickly surges to his frustration and your task will be much easier on the day."

Hlatshwayo, who has been capped at national U-20 and U-23 level, has recently been redeployed at centre-back after a lengthy stint on the right side of defence.

And while he is pleased to play in his preferred position again he admits he has yet to hit top gear.

"When I arrived at Ajax, I signed as a central defender and also with the youth international teams I played as a centre-back so I am very excited to be finally given a chance to show what I can offer," he said.

"I think I have performed averagely. Knowing my capabilities, I still believe that I'm not at the level where I can say that I am entirely satisfied with my performances."

The 22-year-old added that is uncertain whether he will remain at centre-back for the visit of table-topping Bucs.

He said: "I really don't know what will happen next, that is up to the coach because at training, like today I started at centre-back and in the second half I was at right-back, so I think it is all up to the coach to decide."

In team news, Ajax will be missing the services of Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Khama Billiat, whilst Pirates are minus suspended midfield duo Oupa Manyisa and Andile Jali.


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