Cape Town City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis wary of SuperSport United ahead of MTN8 final


SuperSport will host City in a repeat of the 2017 MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, having won the trophy last year via a penalty shootout in Durban.

Matsatsantsa opened their campaign with a 2-0 loss to City, but then went undefeated for six games. Kaitano Tembo's men later suffered a setback when they lost 3-1 at log leaders Orlando Pirates before responding with a 4-0 thrashing of Black Leopards last time out.

City have been less consistent, as they are 11th on the Absa Premiership standings with six points less than fifth-placed United after six games. Benni McCarthy’s side drew 2-2 with Orlando Pirates in their previous outing.

"The first game you don't know, you are trying to get the combinations right. It takes a bit of time for the players to start hitting form," Manousakis said when asked about the last meeting between the clubs.

"We are not naive. They are in better league form at the moment than what we are. They have been more consistent but sometimes that goes out of the window. On the night it’s about who wants it more, who is going to push through the barriers, psychologically, emotionally.

"They are definitely in the better form but I think it'll also be in the back of their heads that we beat them 2-0. We didn't concede, so hopefully psychologically it'll work in our favour."

Manousakis feels City are heading in the right direction as they approach their third final in as many years of existence. The coastal outfit won the Telkom Knockout final in 2016 against SuperSport, not long after the club was formed when John Comitis bought the franchise of Mpumalanga Black Aces.

"It's the third season the club is in existence. Three finals, one win, lost one, definitely we are heading in the right direction," Manousakis said.

"It's all about creating history and winning trophies, that's what the coach [Benni McCarthy] wants. That's what the chairman [Comitis] wants. So there's a big plan for this club going forward.

"It's a great brand. It's young, sexy if I can use that word, and it's heavy. We want to be top four, top five. We don't want to be left out talking about Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport ...

"The chairman wants the club to be there and there about and I think that is where it's heading. You look at some of the recruits, some of the signings. Gift Links, this youngster is 19 years old, he's something else. He's got to unleash himself, he's one of the best footballers I've seen at training.

"And it's definitely a long-term vision that."