Benni McCarthy admits he's targeting the league title next season

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy looks on from the touchline during the Absa Premiership match.
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy looks on from the touchline during the Absa Premiership match.
Image: Shaun Roy

Benni McCarthy says he expects his Cape Town City side to be challenging for the Absa Premiership title this season and that the time for “learning” among his players is over in favour of delivering the big prize.

City were in the mix for league honours until late in the 2018/19 season‚ but faded away as McCarthy admitted his team were not ready to claim the Premiership.

But he now expects them to push the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates all the way and has instilled that belief in his players.

“Our ambitions are high and if they [the players] don’t have those same ambitions‚ then I don’t think I am the right coach for you or that you are playing for the right team‚” McCarthy said.

He adds that it has been a process to reach this point since he joined the club as a rookie coach at the start of the 2017/18 season‚ but one that both he and the players had to go through.

“When I joined‚ we first learned the philosophy and what is expected of us‚ and how we want to play.

"The second year was about bettering it. We knew then exactly what was expected of us and how we wanted to do things‚ but it was about perfecting it.

“Now‚ in this third season‚ there is no more learning‚ no more trying to perfect things.

"Now we need to go and show what we know. Now it is about executing things.

“They (the players) know that I am here because I want to win the league‚ or at least compete to get close to it. We have got the players‚ the team and the mentality to push us over the line.”

While McCarthy laid out what he expects from his players‚ he dropped short of saying his side will be champions come May next year.

“I am not saying we are going to win it‚ but that is our ambition. We will start the season knowing that we want to be champions at the end of the day.”

City have finished fifth and fourth under McCarthy in the last two seasons‚ but showed definite improvement in their play in his second campaign.

They had finished third in the club’s maiden season in existence in 2016/17‚ when Eric Tinkler was in charge‚ when they managed 55 points.

They have managed 40 and 48 points respectively in their two seasons under McCarthy.

The side had the second best home record in the last campaign‚ behind only Pirates‚ but six of their eight losses came on the road.

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