The Citizens were humbled 4-1 by Kaizer Chiefs over the weekend, as they continued their poor league start to the campaign, having notched up just five points from their opening five games.
Head coach McCarthy, who looks set to miss tonight’s tie after his wife fell ill, brought on striker Siphelele Mthembu for Craig Martin just minutes after centre-back Taariq Fielies was red-carded against Amakhosi, and admits he’ll need to alter his gung-ho approach ahead of tonight’s match-up against Orlando Pirates.
“We have to learn from where it didn’t go our way against Chiefs, and maybe not be as brave as I always want us to be,” he said. “We don’t sit back and we don’t respect no-one, and try to play our football and our game where we know we can create chances and punish teams if we take our chances correctly. So maybe we need to change our mindset a bit, instead of wanting to go pound for pound with teams every time … maybe we have to change our approach, especially after now losing Fielies and the personnel we are going to use for the next encounter.
“So we might have to take a different approach to how we play against teams like Pirates – not to say we are going to be scared and park two buses in front of their goal, but we have to be a bit more responsible and think about the way we attack the next game, because when you suffer four goals, it’s not mentally easy for goalkeepers to take. So our tactical approach might be a bit different.”
With Fielies suspended, City will have to change their centre-back pairing, but McCarthy feels after conceding four goals, the adjustment may be welcome.
“Maybe a fresh combination after Saturday’s performance is what is needed,” he said.
“It’s extra motivation to whoever gets the nod: we’ve got Keanu Cupido whose done well when called upon to come and play. [Kouadja] Kouassi has also done exceptionally well every time he’s been on the pitch, so like I said, we may need to change the way we approach the game because we’ll have a different pair at the back.”
Kick-off at Orlando Stadium is set for 19h30, with McCarthy’s assistant Vasili Manousakis expected to give the orders from the dugout.