Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has leapt to the defence of star defender Thulani Hlatshwayo after his latest blunder against Mamelodi Sundowns.
'Tyson' who was Pirates' marquee signing at the start of the campaign has come under fire for some of his underwhelming performances in recent times.
Following his shock own goal in Pirates' one-all draw with Swallows FC last week, the current Bafana Bafana captain then followed it up in the match against Sundowns, where Gift Motupa managed to steal the ball from him in a dangerous area, leading to Peter Shalulile's goal in Sundowns' 3-0 win at the Orlando Stadium.
Speaking to the media after the match, Pirates head coach Zinnbauer touched on the defender's recent blunders which have come at a cost to the Buccaneers' title ambitions.
"I don’t want to talk a lot about mistakes by my players, we do this internally," Zinnbauer told journalists.
"But I can say that it is always in a situation where players have bad times and good times and when we talk about the start of the season, he was very strong for us, he is a leader and he fights and, in the moment, you can see he is a bit unlucky, but he played a lot of games without breaks, he is always on the field fighting, he is always training 100%, he goes forward, he leads the team.
"This is not so easy when we speak about a leader, when we speak about a captain. He is not alone on the field and after a training session he can't say it's finished for me, no. During training, before training and after training he has talks with the young players, he leads the guys, he gives them motivation and he gives the young players and others who have some problems, he gives them direction in the squad. He is everywhere and it's not easy for us to say he can focus on himself. We need to give him a bit more time and maybe he can rest and recover. He's a big player and a national player," he added.