Njabulo Ngcobo realized after the game that the tantrum he threw after he was substituted had caused bigger damage than he would ever have anticipated.
The defender had a terrible game against Golden Arrows in Durban and a costly error by him helped Arrows get an equaliser which brought them back into the game. The Durban side went on and scored a second one to win the game 2-1 and leave Amakhosi reeling.
When he was subbed, Ngcobo threw a tantrum and refused to shake coach Arthur Zwane’s hand and hada mini scuffle with goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter who tried to make him go back and shake Zwane’s hand.
The incident has been making waves on social media. But Zwane says the matter has been dealt with and Ngcobo has apologised to the team for his gaffe.
“Look… in Mr Ngcobo’s situation. I think with Njabulo it was a heat of the moment thing. I don’t think he did that intentionally,” said Zwane on Thursday afternoon. He was just very upset at himself because he made a mistake that ended up being a goal that brought Golden Arrows back into the game.
“As his coach right now, it would be unfair to crucify him… to not help him because I was a player myself and I made mistakes and I learnt from them. Njabulo is in a similar situation right now.”
Zwane says they will support him and ensure he gets his head in the right space as he is one of the best players they have in the team at the moment.
“He needs us, he needs his teammates. He has apologised this morning because he is obviously back to his senses. Actually, you could even see after the game that he was remorseful and had realised the damage (of his actions) was bigger than what he had thought.
“But we are here not to judge. We are here as coaches to help our players become better. He is one of the best players we have – there is no doubt about that. And going forward we will try and help him fulfil his dreams. When it comes to his career we want him to get the best out of him.”
Amakhosi return to action on Saturday with a DStv fixture against Cape Town City at FNB Stadium. Zwane expects another tough day at the office for Amakhosi.
“We anticipate a very difficult game against Cape Town City. They have a good team… solid in defence and very comfortable on the ball. Their midfielders, I think they are technically sound and know when to connect with their forwards.
“The timing is almost always spot on. You can see that they have been together for a while and they play with a lot of aggression as we saw last night against Sundowns.
“We anticipate a good game with the hope that we can grind out a result. We started this morning to prepare for them.”