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Benni McCarthy expects Manchester United to challenge on all fronts after joining as striker coach

20:51 EAT 31/07/2022
Benni McCarthy, Cape Town City
The Bafana Bafana all-time leading scorer terms his appointment as a privilege as he looks forward to helping the Red Devils return to the top

South Africa legend Benni McCarthy has termed it a privilege to work at Manchester United and expects the club to quickly improve.

McCarthy was added to Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff on Saturday and will specialise in coaching the attacking players and positioning, joining the club he supports, after coaching stints with PSL sides Cape Town City and AmaZulu.

The Bafana Bafana all-time leading scorer believes the quality and positive atmosphere within the Red Devils squad is cause for optimism going forward, after years of underachievement.

“It’s a privilege and if you get the smallest opportunity that you get you must grab it with both hands,” McCarthy told the club’s inhouse channel just before United’s final pre-season game against La Liga side Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

He added: “The mentality around the club is completely different. The manager has just brought that what has been missing over the last few seasons.”

“Hopefully this season, we’re going to see a completely revived United and a hungry bunch of players and a team that is going to be able to challenge beginning with the Champions League and hopefully change the dynamics.”

McCarthy, who was speaking alongside his former Bafana Bafana teammate and ex-United player Quinton Fortune as well as Red Devils legend Wes Brown, also shared their on-field battles.

“I always used to come off the pitch with a lot of bruises (because of Wes Brown) but I was happy because I scored so it was worth it,” McCarthy jokingly said, in refence to their battles in the Champions League whenever United faced FC Porto who the South African played for from 2002-2006.

McCarthy’s appointment completes Ten Hag’s coaching staff that also has assistants Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as well as Eric Ramsay and Darren Fletcher with Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson, the goalkeeping coaches.

"I support Man United and always wanted to play for them. I loved players like Mark Hughes, Andy Cole and Ryan Giggs,” the 44-year-old told the club’s website upon his appointment on Saturday.

McCarthy joined United after coaching Cape Town City from June 2017 to November 2019, guiding them to the MTN8 crown, before joining AmaZulu in December 2020 where he led them to a record-high second place finish in the PSL, earning them a maiden appearance in the Caf Champions League.