IF BENNI McCarthy was the superstitious type, he will hope that no one talks up their dominance over Bidvest Wits, especially if one considers what Mamelodi Sundowns recently did to Cape Town City.
For weeks now, City were spoken of as Sundowns’ hoodoo team. At that point, City had met Sundowns three times in their history, winning all the matches.
Two matches were in the MTN8 tournament that City lost in the final, with the third in the PSL. A fourth meeting is set against Bidvest Wits tomorrow evening in the Nedbank Cup and McCarthy believes this will be another baptism of fire for him.
“You know, I was hoping for a smaller team from the second or third division to start well, like other teams do, but I got giants,” he saids. “It is like I am getting a baptism of fire in my first year in management, I have to work with the team and make sure that we do well. “I am not going to look at the previous wins and think a win is in the bank.
“We are facing Wits at a time where they are at their most dangerous and I am going against a man (Gavin Hunt) who taught me a lot about the game so it is going to be tough. “We will need to bring our best game.” McCarthy will be back on the bench after missing two of City’s league matches following the red card he picked up in the Cape Town derby against Ajax Cape Town.
However, the former Bafana Bafana striker will be without suspended captain Robyn Johannes who was sent off in the club’s previous match against Sundowns. Taariq Fielies will also be missing.
There could be starting berths for former Orlando Pirates defender Tshepo Gumede and ex-Sundowns hard man Kwanda Mngonyama. According to assistant coach Vasili Manousakis, even former Kaizer Chiefs striker Matthew Rusike, who joined on deadline day from Tunisian side Club Africain, will be in the frame soon.
“And Kwanda gets his chance, we have been looking to bring him in, as well as Tshepo Gumede who played most of the games with Robyn last year. “He hasn’t played for a while, so it is going to be a tough one for him but in they come,” Manousakis explained.
“So that is one area that we have been blessed with a bit of depth and it is about how quickly can we get Matty’s (Rusike) card and see if he can make a difference.”