Cape Town City coach Jan Olde Riekerink says their first win since he took over has lifted the burden of fear off the shoulders but this also makes Wednesday’s home game against AmaZulu even more vital.
City scored their first goal in five matches under the Dutch coach‚ who replaced Benni McCarthy‚ in edging Baroka FC but it was a far from convincing as they felt the pressure of being bottom of the log.
They had slipped into last place in the premiership standings the day before‚ when Polokwane City won against Chippa United in a new low for the coastal franchise‚ and they looked laboured and uninspired until captain Thamsanqa Mkhize netted the winner to lift them up to 11th spot.
“The players felt the strain of their position [on the log) and they are only human. You could understand their caution‚ you could feel it in the first half‚” said Olde Riekerink. “I understood that they were feeling the pressure. At half-time I tried to make them more aware about their qualities. But we were liberated after the goal‚ we used the space better in the second half.
“I was happy for the boys‚ it was a reward for all their hard work.”
Now Olde Riekerink‚ who has imposed a harsh training regime on the team in contrast to the more happy-go-lucky atmosphere under McCarthy‚ needs a follow-up victory in the midweek clash at the Cape Town Stadium against their fellow strugglers.
“It has all to do with confidence. If we don’t win against AmaZulu‚ then the victory of Sunday will have been of no consequence‚” he said.