Having tightened the leaks‚ now Olde Riekerink seeks goals from Cape Town City

Jan Olde Riekerink (Coach) during the Cape Town City FC media open day at Hartleyvale Football Grounds on December 02, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Jan Olde Riekerink (Coach) during the Cape Town City FC media open day at Hartleyvale Football Grounds on December 02, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Cape Town City are hunting for creativity and bite up-front to go with their new-found stoicism in defence as they prepare to host bottom side Chippa United in an Absa Premiership clash at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday evening.

City have the worst defence in the top-flight with 20 goals conceded in their 13 games to date‚ but since the arrival of new Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink have recorded 0-0 draws away at Bloemfontein Celtic and home to Highlands Park.

Olde Riekerink admitted previously he thought the side were too “open” under former coach Benni McCarthy‚ and his first task was to make them harder to break down.

He has achieved that‚ but admits he must now add a touch of creativity that sees them scoring at the other end to get back to winning ways‚ starting with the fixture against Chippa.

“I think that when players are getting different instructions [from a new coach] they are thinking a lot about the game on the pitch and they are maybe not as free‚” he said.

“We have to learn that you have other basics [to work on]‚ which will take time‚ and from there you go to creativity. A painter‚ if you want to be creative you have to know that if you put this colour with that colour‚ you get another colour.

“Which pencil do you use … finally you can create because you know the basics. I see it‚ some players are thinking‚ ‘When must I go [forward]‚ when must I stay’. We already have a lot of goals against us [this season]‚ which should be preventable.

“But it is normal if you change [coach]. It is not worse‚ it is not better‚ but we have to play in a different way and it is a phase of learning.”

Olde Riekerink said that ultimately he would like to get defensive-minded players like Thato Mokeke to add more to the side as an attacking force‚ but all within the right structure and gameplan.

“I look at a player like Thato‚ I think he is a fantastic player. My task is to bring him out more in terms of creativity.

“I am trying to push him always forward into smaller places. Then he will be another player‚ a fantastic player.”

City are unlikely to have top-scorer Kermit Erasmus available‚ which will be a blow with Tashreeq Morris also sidelined. Erasmus was forced off early in the Highlands draw with a recurrence of a hamstring problem.

“I hope he will be available‚ but I have my doubts‚” the coach said.

He added that the team had moved forward since his arrival‚ but said there was still some way to go in terms of getting all the parts of his plan to work together. “I want to see a game where I am on the bench and feel secure‚ but right now I don’t feel secure.”

Chippa‚ meanwhile‚ have seen a surge in form having taken seven points from the last nine available under new coach Norman Mapeza.

They still remain rooted to the bottom of the league‚ but another victory could advance them as high as 10th in the table.

They are also seeking to keep a clean sheet for the fourth game in a row‚ which would be a club record.

“We are playing a quality team‚ a good team that are having their own problems of late‚” Mapeza said. “But we will go there with the same mentality‚ attitude and desire to win the game.”

Chippa have never beaten City in Cape Town‚ with two defeats and a draw on their three previous visits.