THE crunch MTN8 Cup battle may well come down to who wants it most.
That is the view held by both Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy and his SuperSport United counterpart, Eric Tinkler, as the two sides head into the final showdown at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow (7pm).
The two aren’t the best of friends, as McCarthy has already described Tinkler as someone “he wouldn’t invite to dinner”.
Yet both believe the R8 million in prize money will go to those who sweat for it.
“The ones who want it the most are the ones who will come out on top,” said McCarthy.
“It will be the team that makes the least mistakes, remains focused, takes risks and above all, stays disciplined.”
Tinkler also reckons the pre-final work may not be enough to deliver silverware.
“I can give my players direction and motivate them. But it’s about who wants it most and we need to show that we want it more,” Tinkler said.
Like McCarthy, Tinkler faces the difficult task of picking his lineup from a full-strength squad.
He has players who are “fit and raring to go”, a situation which has left the SuperSport coach with a pleasant selection headache.
“We have a fully-fit squad, including the guys who returned from the Bafana camp,” Tinkler explained.
“Everybody has raised their hand and is highly motivated, they all want to be part of the squad for the final. The added advantage for me is that I have knowledge of the City players from last season. Obviously I will pass that knowledge on to my players.”
McCarthy, who goes into his first cup final as coach, has also had some tough selection decisions to make.
“It’s been hard to select my team for the final,” he admitted.
“The players have stepped up and it’s good that they are keeping each other on their toes.”
Yet the selection of in-form skipper Robyn Johannes and prime striker Lehlohonolo Majoro is a no-brainer, just as Tinkler should have no difficulty picking the likes of Thuso Phala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane.