Soccer

Benni admits City miss Manyama factor

Cape Town – Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy admits he could do with a player like former Citizens skipper Lebogang Manyama in his attack.

The Cape side have, in their second season, struggled to match last season's exploits, when they were the surprise package in the Absa Premiership after buying the Mpumalanga Black Aces franchise.

For the most part, it's the same team which did so well under Eric Tinkler last season, with one notable exception: Manyama, the 2016/17 Absa Premiership top goal-scorer, is now playing in Turkey at Konyaspor.

The Citizens managed to edge AmaZulu 1-0 on Friday night thanks to a late Roland Putsche goal, yet no City player has more than two league goals this term.

"Nobody is really looking to take the initiative," said McCarthy.

"We tried to play – we tried to use the experience and intelligence of Aubrey Ngoma; we tried to get Aubrey to play in the pockets of space so that we could get behind the organised AmaZulu defence.

"It was particularly this aspect which Manyama was very good at exploiting. Now, though, everybody wants the ball at the feet, but nobody is making the runs behind the defence.

"While we got the win in the end, I thought a few of my players didn’t really pitch up, and that is why we struggled."

The former Bafana Bafana striker did, however, see some promising signs in the Usuthu match.

"Look, with Victor Obinna and Aubrey [Ngoma], who have just come back from long injuries, the plan was always to get them off, irrespective of how the game was going. Last week, they played about 50 minutes, and this time I gave them about 60 minutes.

"But I have to say the subs were very positive. Lyle Lakay, and then Teko Modise was able to play the passes in behind, and Nana Akosah-Bempah was just a breath of fresh air. He was fearless, and that was where the goal came from. So, I'm happy with the replacements."

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