Absa Premiership

Desperate times for relegation threatened CT City

Jan Olde Riekerink (Gallo Images)
Jan Olde Riekerink (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Nearly three months after Cape Town City sacked Benni McCarthy, the club are hovering just two positions above the relegation zone.

McCarthy's final months as City coach were not much to write home about - he boasted a meagre two wins in his last 18 matches - and it was enough for club boss John Comitis to show the former Bafana Bafana striker the door.

In the hope of salvaging City's season, Comitis lured Jan Olde Riekerink to the Mother City and the Dutch coach now finds himself seven games into his tenure - 1 win, 3 defeats and 3 draws - with just 12 games left in the Absa Premiership campaign.

City have the worst defensive record in the league this season having conceded 28 goals in 18 matches.

However, City are among the best six teams in the league in terms of goals scored - 22 to be exact - the same number as second-placed defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns!

What is concerning is that just a year ago City were a top eight side who McCarthy guided to their second piece of silverware - the MTN8 Cup.

Can Riekerink turn things around?

The next four months will be crucial for Riekerink as City desperately need points to climb the Absa Premiership table.

The Citizens (13th) are set to welcome title hopefuls Bidvest Wits (4th) to the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday with the away side eager to maintain pace with log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Thereafter, City take on 16th-place Black Leopards who could smell blood when they take on the Citizens.

Of Riekerink's seven games in charge to date, City have conceded nine goals - with five of those coming in their last two matches - a 2-2 draw against AmaZulu and a 3-0 defeat to Amakhosi.

Before the start of the campaign, McCarthy urged the club's bosses to buy a centre-back before the close of the transfer window in August last year.

McCarthy was hoping to bring former City captain Robyn Johannes back to the Citizens, but Comitis had other plans for the team.

It was at that moment the relationship between the boss and former coach began to sour - as they have both expressed in recent interviews.

Riekerink's first order of business despite being seven games into his reign, is to stop the leakage of goals.

Luckily for Comitis, the club have just under three weeks to tap into the January transfer market and perhaps capture a defender.

However, whether Comitis would sign a cheque for a new player remains to be seen.

For now, Riekerink must deal with the pressure of turning things around as quick as possible.

CAPE TOWN CITY'S REMAINING ABSA PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES

Bidvest Wits - Saturday, January 18 (H)

Black Leopards - Friday, January 24 (H)

Maritzburg United - Friday, January 31 (A)

Polokwane City - Sunday, February 16 (A)

Mamelodi Sundowns - Sunday, March 1 (H)

Bloemfontein Celtic - Sunday, March 8 (H)

Chippa United - Friday, March 20 (A)

Stellenbosch - Saturday, April 4 (A)

Orlando Pirates - Monday, April 13 (H)

Golden Arrows - Saturday, April 25 (A)

Highlands Park - Wednesday, May 6 (A)

SuperSport United - Saturday, May 9 (H)

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