'It is always great when the two teams from one city are doing well'

McCarthy heaps praises on AmaZulu, Arrows ahead of cup clash

Neville Khoza Journalist
Benni McCarthy and Siyabonga Nomvethe applaud Tapelo Nyongo Xoki after his goal during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 football match between AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic at Kings Park Stadium, Durban on 02 February 2021.
Benni McCarthy and Siyabonga Nomvethe applaud Tapelo Nyongo Xoki after his goal during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 football match between AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic at Kings Park Stadium, Durban on 02 February 2021.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

This is the view of Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy as he feels this will attract more fans to follow both teams in the province and outside.

McCarthy was speaking ahead of their Nedbank Cup first round fixture against Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday (5pm) in the KZN derby.

AmaZulu and Arrows have been two of the form teams in the DStv Premiership recently, and the quality they have both dished out has impressed McCarthy. 

“It is always great when the two teams from one city are doing well,” McCarthy told reporters in a virtual press conference yesterday.

“It would only help football in this part of the world. People will start showing more interest in the game because the two Durban clubs are fighting for things, competing and finding themselves on the top end of the league table.

“But also the crucial part is when we eventually start seeing a rise in numbers of the fans who will be allowed back into the stadiums one of these days. We all know what the passion of the KwaZulu-Natal area is for football, you know. Whenever a final is brought to Durban or whatever games are played there, the fans always support their teams.

“But now AmaZulu and Arrows can start bringing in new fans that are supporting the clubs, so I think both clubs can benefit very much from the quality of the football that they both play in the league at the moment.”

McCarthy watched from the stands when AmaZulu lost 0-2 to Arrows on December 16 in a league match as he had just joined the club. But he promised that Arrows would face a different Usuthu side on Saturday.

“When I joined the club and watched them against Arrows, I was worried from what I saw,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t see any commitment from my club like what they are doing now. I didn’t see a lot of qualities that the team is showing now.

“They had a different coach with different tactics, and we don’t know the reasons for the dismal performance against Arrows then. But since then the team has vastly improved, they changed a lot. They are more competitive, and they believe in themselves more.

“Arrows are going to be up against a completely different AmaZulu team who fight till the end, and we won’t make it easy for them.

“We know they've got a lot of speed. They rely a lot on counterattack[ing] football, so it is something that we will work on before Saturday.”

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