Tyson: Coach can't be blamed alone
Posted: 4 November 2017 Time: 09:00
Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has voiced his backing for under-fire coach Gavin Hunt, saying the players also need to take responsibility for their poor start to the season.
You could be forgiven for forgetting that The Clever Boys lifted the Absa Premiership trophy last season as they look nothing like a side fighting to defend their maiden championship.
Wits find themselves in the extremely unfamiliar position of 15th – their lowest position on the standings since the arrival of Hunt in 2013 – with a total of just eight points from nine games played thus far.
Hunt has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, with fans – mostly from other clubs – anxiously awaiting the drop of the axe on the four-time league-winning coach's head.
However, Hlatshwayo has defended the former SuperSport United mentor, saying he is still the same man that has consistently kept the team in the top three over the past four seasons.
"We are a team – we lose together, we win together. He's a coach with a lot of character, and all the guys rub off from his character," said the skipper.
"We haven't started the season well, we were knocked out of the MTN8 but he's still the same coach that he was when we were competing for the league.
"We just have to make sure we keep on going and fighting, making sure we don't give up. They say luck doesn't just come but you have to work for it."
With just two clean sheets in 13 games in all competitions, 'Tyson' admits it has been uncharacteristic of a Hunt-coached side to concede the way they have been this season, which reflects poorly on the players too.
"We're conceding a lot of goals this season, which is not like a team coached by Gavin Hunt to concede so many goals at the start of the season," he added.
"We also have to take the blame as a team, and not only the defenders because defense starts from the front. Coach can't take the blame alone, we as players also need to take it because he is still doing what he did last season, with the same instructions, so we can't say things have changed."
Wits next face Baroka in a Telkom Knockout quarter-final clash at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening – kick-off set for 20h15.