Mthatha Bucks are working hard to avoid relegation.

Mthatha Bucks COO Lunga Tukute has explained why the club has struggled in the National First Division this season.

Bucks finished in eighth place last season and were expecting to challenge for promotion this season, but things have not gone well for the Eastern Cape based club.

They are currently in a relegation battle, in 15th placed after 20 matches. Bucks are just a point ahead bottom of the table Ubuntu Cape Town, a huge concern as they head into the final third of the campaign.

They have only managed to win four matches this season and have lost 10 times, the most defeats in the league.

Coaching changes and disciplinary issues with players such as Luyolo Nomandela have played a role in their disastrous campaign, according to Tukute.

“Things changed. You know we started very well. I think somewhere somehow the coaching changes have impacted us. We thought our team would gel. There were some discipline issues as well, we had to reshuffle players. Now we are okay, players are disciplined and we’ve got fighters now.

“On paper we thought we’ve signed the best team. [Ian] Palmer took over [as head coach] in the middle of last season, so it’s Duncan [Lechesa] in charge now. We had only two coaches this season because other guys just took over on interim basis. Obviously when a change happens in the coaching department players take time to adjust. Some players will catch on easily while others will take time. But now we can say the players are understanding the coach hence we produced the good performance [in the Nedbank Cup against AmaZulu].”

Tukute also confirmed that Nomandela has left the club after failing to live up to expectations.

“Yes he left in December due to his performances. He is part of the players that we released. We wanted fighters, especially in this situation,” he says.

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