AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy felt that his side deserved a hammering following their defeat to Sekhukhune United on Wednesday evening.
Usuthu were brushed aside by Babina Noko, who emerged 2-0 winners in a PSL game which came three days after the KwaZulu-Natal giants booked their place in the Caf Champions League group stages.
McCarthy’s side was in a buoyant mood after eliminating one of this season’s Champions League contenders, TP Mazembe of DR Congo with the two teams drawing 1-1 in Lubumbashi on Sunday and AmaZulu won the tie on the away goals rule.
“I wouldn’t say it is complacency. I don’t think these boys would allow themselves to be complacent. At least I don’t allow them, to be complacent. Like I said medical reasons before the game,” McCarthy told SuperSport TV.
“So it was just not just one person it was quite a few. Not that it is an excuse, Sekhukhune made it difficult. They were very straightforward, they played the long ball and they got in behind a few times.
“We were not at our best, but normally Shoes [Mbongeni Gumede], TP [Tapelo Xoki] are so reliable. They are the ones who struggled the most today. They were the ones who were affected.”
The Bafana Bafana legend revealed that some of his players were not fit to play against a well-rested Sekhukhune side, who claimed their third successive win in the PSL.
“So, the fact is that they went out there and gave everything for the team and yeah, we only lost 2-0. We have to be proud of that because what went on in our camp we had to get a hammering,” he continued.
“That is how bad it was. A 2-0 defeat we take it and move on and I think there are lessons to be learned. From now on we can prepare ourselves better when we are doing to Caf games.
“And then when coming back domestically, teams go for it, they capitalise on the travels and everything that Caf clubs deal with. So yeah today was one of those days for us.”
The 43-year-old tactician stated that he was proud of his charges and he refused to blame them for the defeat to the PSL newcomers.
“I can’t really blame the players or have a go at them because every single one of them gave an effort and the fact that they fought not being 100% medically fit to play,” he insisted.
“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.
“We work hard, we go forward and we know that we are a far much better team than what we showed today. Like I said it is only the first round. There will be a second round,” he added.
“In the second round, I’m very sure that this won’t be the state we will be in, then it will be a different football game. For now, let them enjoy the spoils. Congratulations to them for the victory.”