Richmond coach Damien Hardwick hits back at Trent Cotchin critics

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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has leaped to the defence of club captain Trent Cotchin after a run of quiet games in recent weeks.

Cotchin’s form has been put under the spotlight with the reigning premiers mired in a four-game losing streak which currently sees them languishing at 12th on the ladder.

The 31-year-old was even urged to consider retiring after managing just 13 disposals against Collingwood on Sunday, but Hardwick refused to join in on the pile-on.

“People don’t realise this guy’s been a battering ram for 15 years of his career,” Hardwick said. “There wouldn’t be a harder player in the competition.”

“People are quick to jump on players – that’s the Australian way at various stages. This guy is an incredible player and we’re not a stats-orientated football club.

“We could have Trent having 35 touches going backwards and sideways, but that’s not how we play. He plays leading from the front with the way he goes about his actions.

“People will judge him on his performance on the weekend, that’s fine, champions have bad days sometimes.

“But the reality is he’s a very, very good player in a very good side that isn’t quite performing to the level it (can) at the moment.”

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