Benni McCarthy reveals what he said at halftime to get his City players going

03 March 2019 - 14:43
By Marc Strydom
Cape Town City Riyaad Norodien celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning goal in the come from behind 3-2 Absa Premiership victory over Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday March 2 2019.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Cape Town City Riyaad Norodien celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning goal in the come from behind 3-2 Absa Premiership victory over Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday March 2 2019.

Benni McCarthy said his instructions were for his players to lift their intensity‚ have fewer touches‚ and utilise their pace against the bigger players of Bidvest Wits‚ as Cape Town City dramatically reversed a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 on Saturday night.

McCarthy said that after Kermit Erasmus and Riyaad Norodien missed early chances as  City's heads and intensity dropped in the Absa Premiership matchup at Bidvest Stadium.

Thulani Hlatshwayo's header and Gift Motupa's penalty made it 2-0 at the break to Wits.

The coach was asked what he had said at half time‚ and the plan he had given his players‚ as within eight minutes goals from Erasmus (47th) and Surprise Ralani (53rd) wiped out the lead‚ before Norodiens's stunning 68th-minute free-kick provided City's winner.

"A bollocking as usual‚" McCarthy said.

"Ja‚ because I think we were lethargic‚ after we didn't capitalise on the two early chances we created.

"When we miss easy chances like that then I think there are a few players who start to drop their heads a bit. And then we drop our intensity to training intensity.

"We have extra touches on the ball and we play sideways and we don't find the diagonals on the balls‚ and the passes where we're looking for out 10 and out 9. So then it becomes too easy for the opposition to just watch us play in front of them.

"So‚ [the message was] minimise the touches‚ get the ball‚ look up‚ and knowing where you want to play.

"And the quicker we can move the ball‚ with the size of the Wits team‚ and the speed that we have up-front‚ we should be able to get a lot of joy.

"And I think we did it once‚ and boom‚ we got in and Kermit got his goal. And then the second one‚ a nice neat little one-two again.

"Because we are quite small up-front. But there's movement‚ there's mobility‚ there's skill. So yeah‚ I wanted more of that.

"And when we do that we get joy."

Fourth-placed City meet leaders Mamelodi Sundowns‚ who they lost 3-2 against on Wednesday in Pretoria‚ in the return match at Athlone Stadium on Tuesday night (kickoff 7.30pm).