Mamelodi Sundowns Co-Head Coach Manqoba Mngqithi has refused to criticise AmaZulu for the lack of game time of on-loan player Phakamani Mahlambi, while Benni McCarthy repeated his mantra that hard work trumps talent.
Mahlambi, the former Bidvest Wits and Al Ahly player, who many touted as the future of South African football, has only featured twice for Usuthu since joining Usuthu from Sundowns on loan last year.
Mahlambi only featured 8 times for Sundowns last season, 7 times as a substitute, and his once promising career now seems to be in limbo.
Mngqithi says it is up to the player to take responsibility for his career.
“On Phakamani I think I would prefer not to comment, I prefer not to comment because it is his career,” Mngqithi said this week.
“He knows what he has to do for his career. We tried our best as well to help him. “
“He is a very talented player, he knows what he can offer, but I think at times players must also take full responsibility for their careers.”
McCarthy says his policy at AmaZulu is simple, if a player works hard, he will get chances, but talent alone will not get you selected.
“I’m not a person who has anything against anyone, I think players have to impress themselves,” McCarthy said when asked about Mahlambi’s absence.
“And with me, hard work over talent. And I say that all the time. And, you know, if you have talent in abundance, you have to match that with hard work.”
“And if I don’t see players giving me what I’m looking for, and there’s players who’s willing to sweat blood and tears, I’m going with that. So, players, need to understand you can have all the talent in the world, but you have to still work hard.”