McCarthy: New players are still trying to settle

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy says some of the club’s new guys are still trying to settle in the team.

Usuthu were held to a 0-0 draw by Swallows FC at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium last week Wednesday in what was their second DStv Premiership match of the current season.

Prior to that, the KwaZulu-Natal giants were eliminated from this season’s MTN8 by Cape Town City, before losing to reigning South African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns in their opening league game.

McCarthy, who was named 2020/21 DStv Premiership Coach of the Season, has now revealed the main reasons behind Usuthu’s slow start to the current campaign.

“Tough game, Swallows won two games. They beat Orlando Pirates and Royal AM. So they are on a high. Their coach got the players that he wanted and they look fantastic,” McCarthy said.

“And for us, we are still building and we are still finding our feet. Some of the new guys are still trying to settle in the team and finding their feet as well.

“So it wasn’t too bad, but this was not the usual AmaZulu standards. Again, we started very slow. Against Cape Town City, we started very slow and we conceded in the first 15 minutes.”

Mxolisi Kunene, Keagan Buchanan (both Maritzburg United), Philani Zulu, Kgotso Moleko (both Kaizer Chiefs), Tercious Malepe (FK Minaj, Ukraine), Matarr Ceesay (Casa Sport), Tsepang Moremi (Bizana Pondo Chiefs), Lindani Shange (promoted from AmaZulu’s reserve side), Hendrick Ekstein (FK Sabail, Azerbaijan) all joined Usuthu during the recent transfer window.

The 43-year-old local tactician added that they cannot afford to let matches slip away having started slowly against Gauteng sides, Swallows and Sundowns.

“Against Mamelodi Sundowns, we started very slow and against Swallows … same thing and it seems to be a trend. We cannot afford to let games like these slip away from us,” he added.

“When you get one or two chances, you have to take them. I’m afraid I think the creativity in the team is also not on par.”

AmaZulu are scheduled to face Malawian giants Nyasa Big Bullets in their first-ever CAF Champions League match on September 10.