What was meant to be a career-reviving move to AmaZulu is slowly turning out to be a fruitless exercise for once promising Phakamani Mahlambi.
Mahlambi was sent out on loan to AmaZulu during the first half of the season after struggling to break into the first team at Sundowns, who reportedly signed the player for R13 million from Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
Sundowns were hoping that Mahlambi would go out and revive his career at Usuthu, but he has played just one match since joining the KZN outfit.
McCarthy was asked about Mahlambi after Usuthu's DSTV Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday, February 17. Usuthu beat 10-man Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 at FNB Stadium.
McCarthy explained why Mahlambi has not broken into the team.
“I am not a person who has anything against anyone. Players have to impress themselves and, with me, hard work over talent. I say that all the time. If you have talent in abundance, you have to match that with hard work. If I don’t see players giving me what I am looking for, and there’s (other) players who are willing to sweat blood and tears, I am going with that,” the former Bafana Bafana striker told the media after the game.
“Players need to understand that you can have all the talent in the world, but you need to still work hard. I am not saying he is not working hard, but there’s players who are working exceptionally hard and that’s why they find themselves in the team.
“If you are not in the team, it’s because maybe you are not doing enough and you need to match the effort of the players who are on the pitch.”