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McCarthy fires a warning shot

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“They are a massive team, one of the biggest teams in the country. We respect them. We will give them the respect that they deserve."

Benni McCarthy

BENNI McCarthy issued a strong warning to Ernst Middendorp who was in the stands when Cape Town City came from behind to draw with Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday.

The Citizens put on a spirited fight against the reigning Absa Premiership champions and the usually slick and deadly City side was replaced by brawlers and warriors in the 1-1 draw with the Brazilians.

It wasn’t vintage City, which is why McCarthy warned the Kaizer Chiefs coach who will lead Amakhosi against City on Tuesday, after hosting the fiery SuperSport United on Saturday.

“We are facing Amakhosi who are on a high, two wins out of two,” McCarthy said. “Coach Middendorp must be smiling. I saw him sitting nicely in the stands with a big smile on his face. We go back and we prepare. Another tough one. But it definitely ain’t going to be the tactics that you saw against Sundowns.

“We aren’t playing like that against Chiefs. Sundowns is Sundowns, that’s another story. We will prepare well for Chiefs, not that we will be taking them lightly.

“They are a massive team, one of the biggest teams in the country. We respect them. We will give them the respect that they deserve.

“But what you saw against Sundowns is a once-off.”

The draw with Sundowns was better than what City got in their last trip to Pretoria last season. McCarthy’s men returned with nothing after being handed a defeat by Sundowns who were fighting for the league at the time. Therefore, a point is an improvement.

“I don’t think that my team knows how to play for a draw,” McCarthy said. “We go guns blazing. We play attacking football and we know that if we can outscore the opposition, then we get three points.

“We lose badly or we win convincingly. Draws, we are not very good at that. But this draw I am happy with even though we could have come away with three points. Sundowns is Sundowns. They are a top side.

“I hope that this wasn’t too difficult for them to recover for Saturday because they are the pride of the nation.

“They represent us and they have to go out there. I wish them luck in the Champions League. They have to overturn a loss which they are capable of.”

City’s clash with Sundowns was pushed forward because the Brazilians have CAF Champions League commitments this weekend. The Citizens will monitor Amakhosi in their clash with Matsatsantsa before plotting how to take them down in the Mother City next week. City haven’t fired on all cylinders, with just one win from their four matches in all competitions. But against Sundowns there was some improvement.

“If we were more lethal, we would come back with all the three points instead of sharing the spoils,” McCarthy said.

“You know what, beggars can’t be choosers.

“After a loss like Saturday (against Polokwane City), I’ll take a point against Sundowns because it’s something to build on from here.

“Now we know the power we have when we defend, when we are solid and compact in this manner.

“We’re gonna cause problems for a lot of teams.

“And when we have the ball, you see how lethal we can be. Overall, I am happy with the point.”

Bonginkosi Ndadane