Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has had enough of people taking potshots at embattled AFL skipper Trent Cotchin.
The fourth-year captain bore the brunt of criticism levelled at the Tigers after their gut-wrenching one-point loss to Collingwood on Friday night.
Cotchin’s ability to be an effective leader was widely called into question in the media after his side gave up a late 17-point lead to lose to the Pies in dramatic fashion at the MCG.
And by Thursday morning Hardwick had heard enough.
“I’m tired of it to be honest … it’s about time people look at this guy for what he is – a bloody good football player,” Hardwick told reporters.
“It’s become farcical the level it’s got to.
“It’s easy for people to sit behind keyboards and microphones and cameras and make judgment, but this is a guy that leads from the front.
“He has 38 possessions, he wins clearances, he wins contested ball. He’s an outstanding leader of our footy club. No question.
“I sit there and I’m flabbergasted by the criticism he cops. We win a lot of football games because of this bloke.”
Hardwick admitted his side had made some “cataclysmic” mistakes late in the loss to Collingwood but added they had been addressed, with the coach keen to move on.
The Tigers will host Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Saturday as they look to improve on their 1-1 win-loss record.
Brett Deledio (quad) and Ivan Maric (back) are still unavailable but Shane Edwards will make a welcome return after recovering from hand surgery that kept him out of last week’s clash against the Pies.