Mkhize looked out of sorts in his side’s 1-1 draw with Baroka on Tuesday, in what was an unusually below-par performance for the reliable right-back.
Coach McCarthy described the player’s display as “terrible”, but gave his reasons why.
“I think Thami was massively affected by Bafana,” he said. “It’s the story of our life also. Aubrey [Ngoma] goes to Bafana, he comes back injured. [Judas] Moseamedi goes, then gets injured. Mkhize goes, and then starts playing awful.
“He was absolutely terrible, and very poor. He was very poor by his standards, he worked hard, but he was not good enough. And I think form players like that, you expect a lot because you know what you’re going to get from him every single game, so it was a shock to see him like that after international duty.”
McCarthy suspects other aspects could have affected the defender’s game as well, believing his exploits for Bafana in their back-to-back losses against Senegal to be the main cause, yet feels it is no excuse.
“It could be from a variety of things – tiredness, training twice while on national team duty and then trying to fit in back here,” he said. “But I don’t want to make excuses. I think as professional players, they have to be a bit more consistent. But I think Bafana did affect him a lot.”
McCarthy will be hoping Mkhize will be back to his best for his side’s visit to second-placed Golden Arrows in their next Absa Premiership encounter on Saturday evening.