Old Riekerink seeks formula to turn Cape Town City's dismal season around

Jan Olde Riekerink coach of Cape Town City with John Comitis Chairman of Cape Town City during Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City on 20 December 2019 at Dobsonville Stadium.
Jan Olde Riekerink coach of Cape Town City with John Comitis Chairman of Cape Town City during Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City on 20 December 2019 at Dobsonville Stadium.
Image: BackpagePix

Cape Town City will go in search of not only a first win but also a maiden goal in the month-long tenure of coach Jan Olde Riekerink when they entertain fellow Absa Premiership strugglers Baroka FC at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.

Olde Riekerink has tightened up the side defensively‚ but they have been firing blanks going forward‚ not helped by an injury to star striker Kermit Erasmus‚ who could return for this weekend.

City lie second-bottom in the table with only two wins from 15 Premiership games‚ a dismal record for a side with plenty of polish and no shortage of quality.

Their four matches under Olde Riekerink have yielded goalless draws with Bloemfontein Celtic and Highlands Park‚ and then back-to-back defeats to Chippa United and Bidvest Wits.

City have midfielder Mpho Makola back in contention after his six-month ban for shoving referee Abongile Tom was reduced to four games‚ which he has already served.

They could also field Mduduzi Mdantsane‚ recently arrived from Baroka‚ though he is likely to start on the bench.

City have also been able to call on goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh‚ right-back Thamsanqa Mkhize‚ utility player Abbubaker Mobara‚ playmaker Chris David and striker Tashreeq Morris‚ after they all returned from injury.

Baroka will play for the first time since Englishman Dylan Kerr took charge of the side‚ though his place on the bench will be dependent on him getting a work permit in time.

Kerr was largely praised for his work with Black Leopards in helping them avoid relegation last season and he looks to have a similar job on his hands with Bakgaga.

He says the players have responded well since his arrival this week.

“They all know me from my time at Black leopards and they know a lot of the Leopards players‚ so they have probably done the homework and asked‚ ‘What is the coach like’‚” Kerr told TimesLIVE.

“My first training session was really good‚ they were all looking to impress. If you look at my football philosophy‚ I give everybody a chance‚ and I will also do that here.

“If you are playing well‚ you keep that [starting] jersey. If you’re not in the starting XI‚ it is up to you to do something about it.

“But the players have been very energetic and enthusiastic‚ there has been lots of fun and laughter.”

Baroka are winless at home this season but have been good away and Kerr will start his reign versus a side the Limpopo club have traditionally excelled against.

Their previous three visits to City since their promotion to the top-flight have resulted in a win and two draws‚ while overall they have lost only two of their nine games in all competitions‚ and none since 2017.

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