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Fabian McCarthy: Don't judge Kaizer Chiefs on their Shell Helix Ultra Cup defeat

10:31 AM EDT 7/22/18
Fabian McCarthy
McCarthy reviewed the Shell Helix Ultra Cup match between Masandawana and Amakhosi

Although Kaizer Chiefs lost 2-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the inaugural Shell Helix Ultra Cup on Saturday afternoon, legend Fabian McCarthy believes it’s too early to write Amakhosi off.

The match held at the FNB Stadium was used to get the two giants ready for the 2018/19 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

Coach Pitso Mosimane’s men lifted the trophy after goals from Jeremy Brockie and Themba Zwane helped Sundowns to the win, while Bernard Parker scored for the Naturena-based club. 

With assistant coach Patrick Mabedi leading the Chiefs bench in the absence of new coach Giovanni Solinas as he awaits his work permit, McCarthy believes the game and all the tactics were meant to allow the the new coach to study and assess his new charges. 

He also warned people of rushing to rule out Chiefs in terms of winning big trophies, but said the likes of Siphelele Ntshangase, Kabelo Mahlasela and Hendrick Ekstein are the same players when it comes to their talents.

He defended Mabedi’s decision to substitute Ekstein and introduced Teenage Hadebe, saying if Chiefs are scoring via set pieces then they must not change their approach..

“I think Chiefs are ready, we cannot judge them on one performance and everything is still new for the technical team and the players,” he exclusively told Goal on Sunday.

“Obviously the new coach will want to settle down, and we cannot also say Sundowns is ready because of the win,” he added.

“It’s too soon to say who will win the league between the two clubs, because we have not seen Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits as yet and many clubs are still preparing," he said.

“I am of the view that Mahlasela, Ekstein and Ntshangase are the same in terms of creativity and getting goals is very important irrespective of how you get them. If getting them from set pieces works for Chiefs, why change it?,” he explained.

Meanwhile, on Sundowns, McCarthy was also just as optimistic especially as they welcome Togo-Port in the Caf Champions League next week. 

"Look, the coach wanted to see all the players because he couldn’t in the Maize Cup and on the part of Sundowns, they are already into their season and will want to continue there they left off,” said McCarthy.

“They (Sundowns) have signed two or three players and if people are writing Chiefs off, then they will eat a humble pie come end of the season,” he warned.

“Yeah, knowing coach Pitso, he didn’t just make changes yesterday for the fun of it, he is looking at the upcoming game next weekend,” he continued.

“Remember they lost in Togo and they will win at home, that team cannot beat Sundowns at home - I am sure,” asserted McCarthy.

“Look, the win was good over Chiefs for their morale and so on, but they cannot just say everything is good for them because they lost in Togo,” the ex-Masandawana player said. 

“The coach will want to see his defence minimizing errors at the back and if you look at the log, one win will change things for them,” said the 41-year-old.

“I want to say all the best to them and the club must just allow the supporters to wear their yellow colours and let the Togolese know they are in the Brazilians’ zone,” he concluded.