Cape Town - Cape Town City midfielder Thabo Nodada feels that as a 'surprise package', last season was an easier one for the Citizens.
In their first season since coming into existence after the purchase of Mpumalanga Black Aces' franchise, the new team from the Mother City exceeded expectations by finishing third in the league and also winning the Telkom Knockout.
They now stand on the brink of another trophy success ahead of this Saturday's MTN8 final showdown with SuperSport United in Durban.
But Nodada admits it's been tougher this time around as other clubs now know what to expect from City, although he thinks they have handled the challenge well.
"It was easier last season because we were a surprise package - there was not much expectation on us. But with Benni (McCarthy) coming in and the signings we made, it has attracted a lot of interest and grown our support so we have more people we play for now," he told the Citizen website.
The 22-year-old creative midfielder is also pleased with his own form under McCarthy this season.
"I was frustrated by injuries last season," he explained, "and my aim was getting as much game time as possible. I want to win a trophy and get into the national team set-up somehow.
"When you have a dream and are not close to people who have achieved it, it tends to burn out.
"You gradually stop thinking about it so much. But working with Benni has revived it for me. I look at him and I know I have to emulate what he has done. And it is good that he always tells me what I need to do to get it right."