Tshabalala 'not at his best'
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic has defended his decision
to substitute Siphiwe Tshabalala during the MTN8 final on Saturday.
The Bafana Bafana midfielder made way for new boy Willard Katsande with about 10 minutes of regulation time remaining.
Chiefs' lack of creative spark in midfield after Tshabalala was
taken off was noticeable, as Amakhosi went down 1-0 to their perennial
rivals in extra-time to an Oupa Manyisa strike.
After the game, Vermezovic insisted that Tshabalala didn't deserve to play further than the 81 minutes.
"Look, in my team no-one is unchangeable and my philosophy is all Bafana Bafana players must always take responsibility.
"During the final we had a couple of players who didn't perform well and Tshabalala was one of them and that's why he came off.
"It doesn't mean he is not a good player, but he was not at his
usual level, the real Tshabalala from Bafana Bafana," Vermezovic
He added: "I put in Katsande, because he has got a good shot and
we were at that time trying to break down the Pirates defence, because
it was impossible for us to beat them from around their box so we had to
try from long range and I thought Katsande could do the job."
"Pirates' defence was compact and they played very good and
that's why Siyabonga Sangweni was named man of the match. So, the idea
was to get in a player who could hit shots from long range.
"I don't think the Pirates goalkeeper (Moeneeb Josephs) made many
saves because their defence was good so a change was necessary.
Speaking to Football365.co.za afterwards, Tshabalala declined to comment on the substitution.
"I don't want to comment on that, but I do respect the coach's
opinion. All I can say is that I'm disappointed of course with the
result, but then again it is not the end of the world."