Absa Premiership

McCarthy breathing easier after midweek victory

2017-11-03 08:23
Kyle Lakay and Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy could not hide his relief after avoiding a fifth successive defeat with their 1-0 win over Free State Stars on Wednesday.

Taariq Fielies' goal five minutes from time earned the Citizens a valuable three points at Athlone Stadium, which ended their rut that started after the MTN8 final loss.

However, with two of those defeats coming in cup competitions, City can still move to the Absa Premiership summit ahead of Baroka if they beat the current leaders in their next encounter.

"I could feel that rope tightening around my neck, like I was playing hangman," McCarthy said after the game. "But I'm happy with the team's effort. Today the guys showed a lot of grit.

"We had our backs against the wall, and it's not easy trying to play well and win games when you've lost four in a row. Mentally it drains you and frightens the living c**p out of most of the players, me included.

"So it's a massive relief, even more than when I won the biggest awards in my playing career. The six games we won earlier this season means nothing compared to the feeling I have now after winning this one.

"It's all good when we have fun and joke, but when it comes to matches, that desire has been missing since we lost the MTN8 final. So I wanted that unity and desire back, as the quality is undoubtedly there."

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Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United, Goble Park 15:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu FC v SuperSport United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 21 January 2018
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Baroka FC v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
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