Benni McCarthy vows AmaZulu will push Sundowns all the way for the title

23 April 2021 - 10:22
Benni McCarthy says his team will push Sundowns all the way to the end of the season and is pleased with how AmaZulu are progressing.
Benni McCarthy says his team will push Sundowns all the way to the end of the season and is pleased with how AmaZulu are progressing.

Though they are outsiders to win the DStv Premiership‚ AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has vowed that his team are going to push leaders Mamelodi Sundowns as far as they can in the run-in to the 2020-21 season’s conclusion.

Usuthu have undergone a positive transformation in fortunes under the mentorship of McCarthy‚ who joined the club in December‚ as they enter the business end of the campaign.

They are tied on 41 points from 23 matches with second-placed Golden Arrows but trail runaway log leaders Sundowns‚ who have two games in hand‚ by six points. AmaZulu matched three-time defending champions Downs blow-for-blow in Wednesday’s exciting 0-0 draw at Loftus Stadium.

“We want to push Sundowns as far as we can‚ put them under pressure and see if they will continue to do so well‚” McCarthy said‚ admitting that the Brazilians have a better squad than Usuthu.

“If they win the league we will congratulate them for the championship, but you know it is not over until it’s over. We are challenging ourselves every day to be better and to get to a level where we can be happy within ourselves.

“If you look at the difference between our squad and that of Sundowns‚ they have quality‚ strength and everything. Competing against them is extremely difficult but when we play against them we don’t look at those aspects that happen outside the pitch.

“We look at 11 players against 11, where the ones with the biggest hearts‚ the most desire and the willingness will take the fight to the other. That’s how we look at things and the performance against them on Wednesday showed that we didn’t have respect for the opposition.

“We believe that we can compete with them because we are sharing the pitch‚ and I think we have what it takes to compete, but they are in a better position. They are six points ahead of us and they have two games in hand but the situation can change in the coming days.”

McCarthy‚ who arrived to replace Ayanda Dlamini as AmaZulu coach in December‚ said the Durban team are making good progress and will be better after he takes charge of preseason for the 2021-22 season.

“We are making good progress‚ you must remember I never had preseason with this team. I never had the opportunity to instil the mindset and the mentality because I got them a quarter way into the season. I had to quickly turn things around and it has been good.

“I would still love to have a full preseason to work on things, so that we can be a more technical team like Sundowns‚ who are a well-oiled machine because they have been together for so long. The progress that we show means that we are going in the right direction.

“I joined the race late and I am trying to finish it, but I want to see [what happens] next season where I can have the same start as anyone else. Then it will be fair to ask me if I can challenge for the league.”