Johannesburg - Xerox Lions coach John Mitchell came out in support of Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir attributing the recent successes of his team to Muirs planning.
The Lions will go in search of their sixth consecutive Currie Cup win on Saturday when they travel to Pretoria to take on the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and Mitchell insisted that Muir should be credited for his contribution.
"This project started some time ago and Dick Muir, was the person who has been directing this program from day one," Mitchell said on Thursday.
"Im very grateful to be here, but I wouldnt be here if it wasnt for Dick, so I wouldnt mind in future if we have him inclusive of his involvement within our union," he added.
Muir and fellow Bok coaches Peter de Villiers and assistant coach Gary Gold are currently being taken to task for the teams poor performance during the Tri-Nations and with Mitchells recent three year contract extension at the Johannesburg union, questions were being raised over Muirs future involvement.
However, Mitchell insisted that his influence in the team is still of great value.
"He started this program way back in Super Rugby, hes clearly had a vision and the strength of him as an individual is that he does surround himself with good people," explained Mitchell.
"It important to acknowledge that he is a big part of the process" Mitchell stressed.
Since Jake Whites departure at the Lions, the team has reverted to playing a more expansive game which was widely criticised during the Super 14.
Mitchell has since brought structure and discipline to this ideology which is more or less the responsibility John Plumtree was left with when he took over from Muir as head-coach of the Sharks.