City’s star winger was named in the match day squad for the first time this season ahead of his side’s Absa Premiership encounter against Baroka on Tuesday evening, having finally recovered from a knee injury picked up in Bafana Bafana training in June.
Starting the match from the bench, McCarthy admits he was tempted to introduce Ngoma, yet a sudden change in weather made the City coach change his mind.
“Aubrey would have been my second change, but then it started pouring,” McCarthy explained. “In training, as comfortable as he was, Aubrey still pulled out of a lot of tackles, and on a wet surface like Tuesday, I did not want to put the boy’s future at risk and his career in jeopardy because of my selfishness in wanting to win the game, sticking him in and risking misfortune.
“So I went with the safer option, because I know he is a fantastic player who can do well for this team, but in the long term, going forward, my guilty pleasure of putting him in could have jeopardised that.”
McCarthy says he’d prefer Ngoma available later, and for an extended period, in the season, rather than once-off for one game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
“I’d rather have him available for more games and for longer periods in the season than just against Baroka,” he said. “So that was the main reason why I didn’t put him on.”
Ngoma has been sorely missed by the Citizens this campaign, having contributed an impressive 17 assists and eight goals in his 36 matches last season.