AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy has hit back at critics who called him 'overrated' after securing a second-place finish in the inaugural DStv Premiership campaign.
McCarthy took charge of Usuthu in December with the club languishing in 12th place and five months later, after their 1-0 win over Swallows, they've secured continental football and runners-up behind Mamelodi Sundowns in the league.
"I'm just extremely excited and happy for the players. I think they deserve it, they have been fantastic throughout the season," he told the club's media department after the game.
"Yes, I know people are saying that in the last two games we didn't get a win and that we were off the pace but when you have a 16-game unbeaten run, of course somewhere along with the line people are going to take you off your perch.
"I'm proud of the technical staff the guys that work with me and I'm proud of everyone who is associated with the club. We all deserve this and it’s not just me and the players and the team, everyone has been amazing."
Scroll through the gallery below to see the players AmaZulu signed this season
With McCarthy having question marks surrounding his ability after being sacked at Cape Town City one year prior, the Bafana Bafana legend says this season was a message to all his doubters.
"We've achieved the unthinkable [of qualifying for the Champions League]," McCarthy said.
"When I joined the president said he wanted a top-four finish people said he was crazy and when I joined people said I was overrated, I was fired from Cape Town City and that I was going to fail and that I’m not a good coach.
"So, I wonder now who’s the one laughing - this is what a failure looks like."