Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy will be back in the dugout when the Citizens take on Stellenbosch FC in the Western Cape derby at Athlone Stadium on Saturday.
McCarthy missed the Citizens opening Absa Premiership clash with Baroka last week due to the birth of his son in Scotland. Now he will be back for their first home game of the season.
City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis has been leading the team in his absence‚ but he admits that he was in constant discussion with the head coach on how to move forward in his absence.
‘We knew it [the birth] was coming for a while and we have been in touch quite a bit‚’ Manousakis told the media.
‘The most important thing is that mom and baby are healthy‚ dad is happy that he has got a boy now and he is back on Thursday night‚ so I am happy and the team is happy.
‘We are in touch with the coach two or three times a day‚ we don’t do anything here without him and it is a constant discussion.’
Manousakis added that the club have done their homework on Stellies, who played to a goalless draw in their top-flight debut against Chippa United last week.
‘We have got our hands on some footage of the game they played against Chippa‚ they are typical [coach] Steve Barker – organised‚ structured in defence‚ tough to break down and everything about the counter-attack‚ using the pace of [Iqraam] Rayners to get in behind‚’ he added.
‘But we think we have spotted one or two areas that we can exploit.
‘There is quite a bit of space … somewhere.
‘We must just do what we have to do. It is a home game for us and the fact that it is a derby is great for the fans.’
The club’s assistant coach revealed that there will not be major changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Bakgaga last weekend as they seek more consistency this season.
‘We want to be a little bit more consistent‚ we learnt from last season to maybe cut out the chopping and changing and try and get some rhythm.’
‘But it is not always easy when maybe someone doesn’t have the best game.
‘Last season‚ I think we were unbeaten there [Athlone].
‘The record is decent there‚ the most important thing is the playing surface is top quality,’ he concluded.
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