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Bucs legend Lekgwathi throws weight behind Tyson: 'People expect miracles from him'

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Thulani Hlatshwayo (Gallo Images)
Thulani Hlatshwayo (Gallo Images)

Former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi has given his backing to the club's captain Thulani Hlatshwayo after an underwhelming start to his Buccaneers career.

Hlatshwayo, who joined from Wits at the beginning of the season, has been the target of 'The Ghost's' frustration for making several costly errors this campaign.

'Tyson', as he is known, was even dropped by coach Josef Zinnbauer in the latter stages of the season and was also a notable exclusion from the Bafana squad that beat Uganda on Thursday evening.

Lekgwathi, who captained the side to their famous double-treble almost a decade ago, knows all too well the responsibility of playing for a club of Pirates' stature.

But instead of criticising Hlatshwayo, Lekgwathi has come out in support of the 31-year-old.

Lekgwathi has suggested that because 'Tyson' was given the armband almost immediately after signing for the club, he has not been fully accepted by his team-mates.

"The problem is that if you wear the arm belt, you are the captain; you must take all the responsibility," said Lekgwathi, who won 14 caps for Bafana between 2002 and 2005.

"Even other senior players, they don't support you, but all these guys are supposed to support you. But now, if I look at Pirates, my team, if someone is the captain, they don't give him that support. So, I think like now, Tyson is new, and some guys feel like no, he is new, so he can't just come and be the captain.

"For me, I was lucky because of the guys that I found in this team; they helped me. But most of the senior players aren't playing their role of supporting Tyson. I'm so happy for him, yes, football is a game of mistakes, and he makes mistakes, but you make mistakes to rectify them, and he's working hard on that.

"I think the guy has done well, it's just those smaller mistakes, but he gave us a trophy. Today we are bragging that we are the champions of MTN8, and he is one of the guys who played a big role of winning that trophy. Yes, a team is not only one player... [but a collective], but I think he played a big role in that. So, the pressure at Pirates is always high and wearing that number 14; people expect miracles from him. So, he must just work hard and encourage the players to be together; they must support him."

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