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Orlando Pirates captain Hlatshwayo: I know I performed badly

08:36 BST 08/06/2021
Ashley du Preez Stellenbosch Happy Jele Thulani Hlatshwayo Orlando Pirates
The former Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits defender failed to live up to expectations at Bucs and has also lost his place in the national team

Orlando Pirates captain and former Bafana Bafana skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo has admitted his form has wavered this season.

The 31-year-old was criticised last season for his overly robust and clumsy defending which resulted in seven yellow cards in the 22 league matches he played. He also picked up three cautions in the Caf Confederation Cup and one in the Nedbank Cup.

And while Hlatshwayo helped lead Pirates to victory in the MTN8 final and to a third-place finish in the league, his own poor form ultimately cost him a place in the Bafana Bafana squad which will be doing duty in an international friendly against Uganda on Thursday at the FNB Stadium.

In an interview with the Sowetan, 'Tyson' admitted to being disappointed with his form for Bucs, but is determined to bounce back next season.

“Obviously, it was my first season at Pirates and I know I performed badly. As it’s the off-season now, it’s for me to go and make sure I come back stronger. he said.

“I need to come back stronger, that’s the only option for me."

Commenting on his exclusion from the senior national team, Hlatshwayo conceded he has not been good enough to get the call.

"The national team is our team; everyone can be a national team player. It’s not Tyson’s team and for you to be called up, you need to do well at club level first and I haven’t been doing. Probably this [Bafana exclusion] is a wake-up call for me to work harder to be called up again."

Hlatshwayo has played 48 matches for the senior national team and has scored four goals.

Unless there are any injuries, it may be tough for him to break back into the Bafana squad for the upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia in September and October.