Hartleyvale – Cape Town City midfielder Thabo Nodada wants his team-mates to play with “a bit of arrogance” in their upcoming Absa Premiership clash against Bidvest Wits.
The Citizens are lagging in the bottom half of the log standings in 13th position – only one point above the dreaded relegation zone – after 3 wins, 8 draws and 7 defeats this campaign.
It has been roller-coaster season for the Cape side after the sacking of Benni McCarthy as head coach. Club boss John Comitis then lured Jan Olde Riekerink in as replacement in November last year.
The Dutchman is seven games into his tenure – 1 win, 3 defeats and 3 draws – with City yet to really fire since his arrival.
Nodada feels the City players have to take responsibility for the manner in which they approach each match, especially against Wits on Saturday.
“A bit of arrogance. You don’t become a bad player overnight,” Nodada said as he addressed the media at the club’s training base at Hartleyvale on Wednesday.
“To get some of that arrogance back will do us good. It will get everybody believing in their ability and knowing they can do it.
“We need to get that back‚ that arrogance that says‚ ‘hey‚ you are in Cape Town‚ you are playing against Thabo. You must know that you are playing against Thabo today’.”
Nodada further noted that despite City’s pitfalls this season, they still have time to turn things around, but it will require the right character from his team-mates.
“Everybody now has to draw inspiration from wherever‚ it doesn’t have to be football. Wherever you draw inspiration from when you wake up in the morning. You have to own whatever is in your way,” Nodada said.
“That is the type of characters we need right now. A guy like Surprise (Ralani) has taken the ball in some tight situations and instead of passing responsibility to the next man‚ he dribbles one‚ he dribbles two and he shoots.
“To see him do that‚ I draw inspiration from that and when I get the ball next time‚ I don’t want to just give it away‚ I want to do something to benefit the team. That is the character we need right now.”
City have 12 games (of 30) left in their league campaign and a win against Wits on Saturday will be a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Wits are eager to catch log leaders Kaizer Chiefs as they look to add a second Premiership crown to their trophy cabinet.
Nodada is expecting Gavin Hunt’s charges to “fight” throughout the 90 minutes to claim maximum points.
“We are expecting them to spread the ball from left to right very well‚ as they did in the first game,” Nodada said of Wits, who beat Bloemfontein City 3-2 in a midweek clash on Wednesday evening.
“We are expecting them to switch from right-back to left-wing throughout the game‚ we are excepting a lot of fight‚ hunger and determination.
“A fight for three points‚ a fight for one point‚ a fight for a header or a tackle. It will be a fight.”
Kick-off at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday is at 18:00.