AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has confirmed three positive Covid-19 cases in his squad – including Siphiwe Tshabalala – ahead of their clash against Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana star Tshabalala, midfielder Makhehleni Makhaula and left-back Sibusiso Mabiliso have tested positive and missed the match at the Dr Molemela Stadium.
AmaZulu were due to play Kaizer Chiefs in their opening DStv Premiership clash of 2021, but that match was postponed due to Amakhosi’s involvement in the CAF Champions League.
POSTPONEMENT GAVE MCCARTHY MORE TME TO PREPARE
The postponement gave Benni McCarthy’s Usuthu side more time to prepare for their match against Siwelele.
“Obviously it’s not our ideal start as we were expected to start on January 2 against Kaizer Chiefs, but obviously we understand the circumstances of Chiefs playing in the CAF Champions League and the game was postponed,” McCarthy told the media.
“But this gave us more time to prepare for Bloemfontein Celtic, to get all our ducks in the basket and work on our technical aspects and how we can build from the confidence we got from [beating] Chippa United.”
AmaZulu beat Chippa United 3-1 in the last domestic league match back on 20 December.
With PSL teams testing players almost every week and positive cases in the country on a rapid rise, McCarthy remains positive his squad can handle absences as Tshabalala, Makaula and Mabiliso self-isolate.
“Unfortunately we got hit with three players testing positive and they had to be self-isolated, which distracted our plans,” McCarthy admitted.
“Makhehleni Makhaula was one of them who played against Chippa United, Sibusiso Mabiliso was the second one who was also fantastic in that game, so we are losing one of our offensive left-back players, but we have experience coming back and also Shabba.
“So when you lose three key players in your team, you have to rotate and find solutions. We hope to continue with the form we showed against Chippa when we face Celtic because they are formidable and quick.”
AMAZULU WILL PLAY KAIZER CHIEFS ON WEDNESDAY
AmaZulu will host Kaizer Chiefs at Kings Park in a rescheduled match on Wednesday, 13 January.
Kick-off is at 15:00.
IN CLOSING | BENNI MCCARTHY CONFIRMS HIS BACKROOM STAFF