Cape Town - Head coach Benni McCarthy says Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama has been distracted by talk of a pending move away from the club.
Manyama has been linked in the media with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns, although Citizens boss John Comitis has insisted that the Bafana Bafana attacker will only be sold to a European club.
Sport24 reported that Manyama was dropped from the MTN8 semi-final match-day squad to face Wits after a bust-up with McCarthy.
Meanwhile, after City's 1-0 victory over Wits, McCarthy says he understands Manyama's predicament and believed it was best for the player and the team that the 26-year-old sit out the match.
"I just felt that with the changes I made last week to the side," McCarthy was quoted saying by KickOff website.
"I left Lebo (Manyama) in and obviously I didn't get what I was looking for from the performance against Platinum Stars, because of everything that was going on in the media, with 'is he going to go or is he going to stay'.
"I felt this week more so than ever that his mind wasn't here. He was at training, he was present but he had a lot of things going [on]. I had a chat with him, and obviously that was the general feeling I got. So I thought it was the most noble thing to do.
"If a player is going to play half-hearted or half-minded, you're not going to get his full worth, his full potential. And the fans are going to get on his back because of the news. I don't want the fans to start being impatient with him, because obviously it's not his fault. You can't control your mind to a certain extent.
"He wasn't 100% at training and you can't play ahead of guys at training that's ready to die for the cause."