Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has admitted that he has to be patient with Tokelo Rantie and says he doesn’t want to ‘crush’ the forward by rushing him back.
The 28-year-old former Orlando Pirates and Bournemouth striker has had to watch from the sidelines since signing for the Citizens as a free agent at the close of the transfer window in August.
Rantie, who terminated his contract with Genclerbirligi back in December 2017, has been looking to regain his fitness after several months without football.
The striker was expected to make his debut for McCarthy’s team against AmaZulu in the Telkom Knockout, but was instead given more time to prove his fitness.
Speaking to KickOff.com, the City manager admitted that he has had to play the long game when it comes to Rantie and has been thinking long and hard about when will be the right time to reintroduce him into South African football.
‘I have to start thinking when am I going to integrate him into the team and when do I release him.
‘We’ve worked on his fitness a lot, you know, since his arrival and I don’t want to kill the boy’s career because he’s been through quite a lot.
‘It’s a process and if we just stick him in there for the sake of sticking him in there and then the fans won’t be as forgiving as certain people. I know how South African fans are, the public are, and the media are.
‘They don’t want to understand or know excuses. This is your job and when you get put on to play on that pitch, you must deliver and when you don’t deliver, you get crushed, and I don’t want that for the boy.
‘That’s why I‘ve been patient and that, but he’s making superbly good progress … When he gets in, it must be the TK that people remembered, and that must be the TK Rantie that people are looking forward and excited to see. You can see it is slowly coming back,’ concluded McCarthy.