Benni McCarthy says that the novelty of his first season as a manager in the Premiership has worn off for a lot of his Cape Town City players and admits his squad lacks quality in the final third of the pitch as they were held to a goalless draw by SuperSport United on Saturday.
City missed a number of good opportunities in the game as Judas Moseamedi was given the striking role in the absence of the injured Matthew Rusike‚ but a lack of cutting edge was plain for all to see.
"Quality is starting to tell‚" a frustrated McCarthy said. "When there is a new coach you try to impress‚ you play hard and everybody wants to make a [good] impression‚ but now it is a stage where normality kicks in.
He said the team were struggling in the areas that mattered most, even as they played entertaining football and created chances.
"When you don’t have the personnel to help you then it becomes difficult. Unfortunately for me‚ SA being SA you will always have those challenges."
The current "challenge" relates to the absence of playmaker Ayanda Patosi‚ who skipped training last week and has sat out the last two games.
"It is what it is and when you don’t see him then it’s not rocket science. I have to make do with what I have at my disposal."
City owner John Comitis previously said Patosi would only be considered for selection again when he showed the necessary commitment to the club.
McCarthy was surprised at how his team appeared to lack urgency in their play against relegation-threatened SuperSport as they battle to stay in the top eight.
"We started slow‚ we looked more fatigued than them after they flew back from Kenya and then played [Orlando] Pirates in a tough game on Wednesday.
"In the position they are in‚ it is normal they would fight‚ but I’m disappointed that we didn’t control the pace of the game.
"The pressure probably told on us‚ the fact that we haven’t won in the last three matches.... In our build-up play‚ nobody wanted the ball‚ we were scared to make mistakes.
"We made it difficult for ourselves‚ but even so I think we had the best chances of the game. I don’t remember one moment where I had to pull my hair out."