WILFRED Mugeyi has praised his AmaZulu charges after they pushed Mamelodi Sundowns to extra time in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals last Saturday.
Usuthu forced the cup clash to go beyond 90 minutes at Loftus Stadium after Bongani Ndulula cancelled Cuthbert Malajila’s strike, but Sundowns progressed after Hlompho Kekana found the winner in the first half of extra time.
Mugeyi praised his side for their performance but admitted that fitness got the better of them in the end after they had to chase the match for most of regulation time.
“I think it was a very good game, I think it’s what the fans wanted to watch, I think we dished out good football,” the Zimbabwe great said after the match.
“I think first half, we gave Sundowns a little too much respect. We were playing on a counter. (But) We conceded a goal from a corner kick, during which I think we went to sleep.
“At halftime we changed things. I took off (Paul) Were and brought on another winger (Philani) Shange and I think we looked dangerous. Also we kept the ball very well. Going forward we kept the ball very well for longer spells and I think we frustrated them (in the second half).
“Second half, I think they were the ones who parked the bus, but we were very good going forward so that we managed to find the key and moved the bus away and found the goal.
“From there, I think the legs were gone from the boys, but I’m proud of my boys. They put up a good fight, I can’t ask for more.”
AmaZulu have pinned their hopes on Mugeyi, to improve the team’s position on the PSL standings, and to change the fortunes of the club in the games left before the December mid-season break.
The Durban-based side relieved head coach Craig Rosslee of his duties as the head coach of the side earlier this month, with Mugeyi, previously Rosslee’s assistant, continuing as caretaker coach.
He guided Usuthu to their first win of the season against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout, in his first game in charge.
According to sources close to AmaZulu, the club is keen to give Mugeyi a chance to coach the team until December, after which an evaluation of his progress should be made.
Depending on the team’s results in the upcoming games, the club could decide to allow him to continue in the hot seat further than December.Advertisement
If not, the club could decide to use the January/February 2015 Africa Cup of Nations break to appoint an experienced coach to take charge of the side for the second half of the 2014/15 season.