The Bafana Bafana captain has come under fire for some errors made in recent games but the German tactician is singing in his corner
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has said he still trusts and needs “big player” Thulani Hlatswayo despite the defender’s costly mistakes which he says are nothing unusual, just like how Germany and Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng makes errors.
Hlatshwayo has been partly blamed for Pirates’ poor results of later, most notably his own goal in the 1-1 draw against Swallows FC on April 24.
But Zinnbauer has come to the defence of his Pirates vice-captain.
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“He is a big player. He is a national team player and captain. He is a top player.
“He is a big player. He is a national team player and captain. He is a top player,” said Zinnbauer as per Sowetan Live.
“You know football, like in Germany, you have had Jerome Boateng, who is one of the best in the world, but who also had problems at times in his career and he came back to his best.
“This is normal and Tyson [Hlatshwayo] is a big player and we trust him‚ and we need him. You can talk to him but he knows exactly what he did‚ but the whole team was in the game and it was not only him.
“I don’t want to talk a lot about the mistakes that my players make‚ we talk about that internally‚ but I can say that always players have bad times and good times.
“When we talked about him early in the season he was very strong for us. He is a leader and he fights for us. A mistake is a mistake. He makes another goal and nobody talks about it. He is my captain and he is a leader.”
While still stressing Hlatshwayo’s quality, Zinnbauer says the defender was just unlucky to commit the errors.
He attributes the player’s form to having played too many games.
“At the moment he is a little bit unlucky, but he has played a lot of games and he has had no breaks,” Zinnbauer added
“He [Hlatshwayo] is always on the field and he fights and trains hundred percent‚ he goes forward and he leads the team. It is not so easy as a leader.”