Michael Cheika claims he is his own toughest critic amid growing dissatisfaction with Australia’s lack of competitiveness in the Bledisloe Cup.
Australia have managed to record just two wins over their neighbours since 2011, and the latest limp display at ANZ Stadium has seen the scrutiny over Cheika’s leadership intensify ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
“I think it’s fair for people to have a negative response. We got beat, they wanted us to win. There’s nothing wrong with that,” he said.
“When my team loses, I want them to win, I’m negative as well.
Cheika revealed the pain of losing extends to his family, where the run of bad results is starting to take an emotional toll.
“I’ll tell you now, there’s no one hurting more than me when I walk down the tunnel and I see my two kids there crying.
“So it is built on emotion, there’s emotions for us as well. But we’ve got to try to keep it clear with what we’re doing.
“For me, I feel no matter who is throwing rocks, I’m in a good place because I’m always the hardest critic on myself… I’ve said it to myself already, and recovered from it and feel stronger for it to go back and turn the negative into a positive. Call me crazy.”
Despite the criticism, Cheika appears to have the backing of his players with Tatafu Polota-Nau going into bat for the coach.
“He’s definitely the best man for the job,” said the 33-year-old hooker.
“At the end of the day he only wants what is best for the team and individuals when we have one-on-one time with him.
“He actually brings a great blueprint for us to work off. If anything, it’s more about how we take that blueprint and put it out there on the field.
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