But Benni's Citizens will have to be at their best
THATO MOKEKE delivered a number of great performances for Cape Town City last season, but the midfielder is unhappy with the way he has been playing this term.
The one-time defender operates in the centre of the field and on his day can change the game at the drop of a hat with his distribution skills propelling his side forward and creating chances for his attackers.
And he can make it look so easy at times.
No wonder he’s often on the receiving end of kind words from coach Benni McCarthy.
Credit to him for saying that he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in his three appearances and wants to right matters.
“I’m not entirely happy with my form right now,” said the 29-year-old, who is in his second season with the Citizens.
“I feel like I’ve played better before but we are all building to get to our best. Coach Benni already played a big part in my career because he gave me the chance to revive my career and also gave me the confidence by playing me in my best position.”
As for his side’s lame second-half performance against Kaizer Chiefs two weeks ago that resulted in a 2-1 defeat and an end to their unbeaten three-game run, Mokeke said: “We were terrible and it still hurts because we had them in our pockets. It wasn’t a true reflection of what we are about, we have a squad that can challenge for the title but we need to show in every game that we want to be champions.”
The Citizens, who are in eighth place on the standings on five points and five behind pace-setting Chiefs, can show this tomorrow when they take on fourth-placed SuperSport United, a side they beat four times in a row last season, twice in the league, in the MTN8 final and in the early stages of the Nedbank Cup.
“It’s going to be a tough away game for us and we need to collect three points for ourselves and our fans because it’s been a long time since we won a game,” said Mokeke. “We are due a win and we’ll do whatever it takes to come away from Mbombela Stadium with just that.”
McCarthy will want nothing less than a 90-minute performance and if he sees a repeat of the second half against Chiefs, heaven help his players.
“We will look to start fast against United and work hard on what we need to sustain that momentum and make sure we get ourselves in a position to secure the game as early as possible,” said McCarthy.
“It’s going to be a very different game with all the travelling we need to do, we have to take two flights to get there so it will be tough for us but we have to keep playing the way we play no matter where we play or who we face.
“It’s going to be for us to maintain our focus for the full 90 minutes, nothing less will do if we want to come away with the win.”