The win was crucial for Amakhosi, moving four points over the drop zone and providing a lift ahead of Saturday’s game with Cape Town City.
The Soweto side won the game 1-0 with an 11th-minute strike from Samir Nurkovic to secure their first league win in eight games.
With Anthony Agay being used more as a center-back alongside captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso added extra steel in the middle of the park, making it difficult for Usuthu to penetrate Amakhosi’s defense.
“You have to pay homage to Coach Gavin, with the situation they have. He presented them pretty well, he played a four-way comeback and then he had [Daniel] Cardoso just sitting in front over there, ”McCarthy said SuperSport TV.
“I wasn’t expecting this to be honest, it took us a bit by surprise. We had to get the ball around a bit faster. But when you create chances, you can’t let the teams get away with it, ”continued former Bafana Bafana forward.
“Because it doesn’t matter how good or how a team is, because if you create chances and don’t score, it becomes difficult. We stayed true to our game – we knew we could open them up, but we just didn’t want to fall in love with ourselves.
McCarthy, whose very first game as a coach in the PSL saw him lead The cap to victory over the former Hunt team Bidvest Wits, was happy to credit the Chiefs for the win and now has his sights set on Sunday’s KwaZulu-Natal derby.
“Kudos to the Chiefs for coming out of a tough situation because when you’re in a race like this you know the pressure that comes with playing for such a great team,” he said.
“They did their homework, they stopped us from going out and scored a goal and we didn’t. So they got all three points, we are continuing and working to play Maritzburg now.