Benni McCarthy: Champions League travelling taking its toll on AmaZulu

29 October 2021 - 14:35 By OFENTSE RATSIE
AmaZulu head coach Benni MCarthy.
AmaZulu head coach Benni MCarthy.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy says his side deserved a hammering after their defeat to well-rested Sekhukhune United at Ellis Park on Wednesday.

Victory moved Sekhukhune up to fourth spot in the DStv Premiership while AmaZulu remain in eighth.

Former Bafana Bafana striker McCarthy said some of his key players were not at their optimum level due their programme of long travelling for the Caf Champions League, and their opponents took advantage of that.

“We were not at our best,” he said.

“But normally [centreback pairing] 'Shoes' [Mbongeni Gumede] and 'TP' [Tapelo Xoki] are so reliable, and those are part of the players who struggled the most.

“The fact that they went out there and gave everything for the team so we only lost 2-0.

“We have to be proud of that because with what went on in our camp we had to get a hammering. That's how bad it was but a 2-0 defeat, we take it and move on.

“I think there are lessons to be learned. From now on we can prepare ourselves better when we go to play in Caf.

“Then when coming back domestically, of course teams go for it [against us], they capitalise on the travels and everything  Caf clubs deal with. It was one of those days for us.”

McCarthy's charges did not show their characteristic enterprising brand of football and the 43-year-old said he would not point fingers at his players for their performances on the day.

“I can't really blame the players or have a go at them,” he said.

“Every single one of them made an effort and I have to appreciate the fact that they fought not being 100% medically fit to play.

“Normally most players would say, 'No I don't want to play'. But I have those players who are still willing to go out there for the team and so I am proud of the guys.”