Posted: 10 October 2017
Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo has explained Bantu Mzwakali’s absence in recent matches, insisting the player needs to raise his game.
Mzwakali featured in 26 of his side’s 30 league games last season, but has made just two starts so far this campaign, and has not played for the Urban Warriors since their 2-0 win over Polokwane City on 15 September.
Although admitting the attacking midfielder had been carrying an injury heading into the clash with Cape Town City – where Mzwakali was not included in the 18-man match day squad – Menzo feels 20-year-old Masilake Phohlongo, who came on for the last 30 minutes in the derby, has raised his hand and proven a worthy competitor to Mzwakali’s starting berth.
“Bantu was injured the week before the derby, so I chose to bring someone else in, which was good as ‘Scara’ showed he has the same possibilities that Bantu has, and that he is pushing at the door,” Menzo said.
“Sometimes you have to give someone the chance to say, ‘If you need me, I’m there’ and that was the situation in the derby, and Bantu has to fight for his place in the team.”
Ajax have only won a single game all season, and scored just five goals in their six matches so far, yet Menzo has defended his strikeforce, insisting a lack of supply has resulted in their lack of goals.
“[Prince] Nxumalo and [Tashreeq] Morris are my goalscorers, but we aren’t scoring enough goals at this moment,” he said. “But I think that is because of the final pass and the confidence in the final third to play the right pass, at the right speed and at the right moment. So the player who gives it, and the runner has to be in sync, which…