Wales v South Africa: Gatland admits 'if we lose I don't sleep'

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland became Wales coach in 2007
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT (BBC1 Scotland 14:30); live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has admitted to having sleepless nights after narrow defeats by major southern hemisphere teams.

But Gatland says the criticism he has faced for one win in 27 Tests against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa is "nothing I can't handle".

Wales face the Springboks on Saturday in the last of their Autumn Tests in Cardiff hoping to improve that record.

Gatland said: "If we can do that it would be a massive confidence boost."

Having seen Wales win two Grand Slams and another Six Nations title since his arrival in 2007, Gatland wants them to end a losing run against the southern hemisphere giants that goes back to a 2008 win over Australia.

Former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones
"It's a lot of nonsense in people saying he [Gatland] is under pressure. I think, well I know in fairness, he's been wonderful to the team. I've been fortunate to work under Warren. He creates a good environment; he gets the best out of the team; he challenges you as players. And you look at his record in the Six Nations. It's been top-drawer."

"We're desperate to get that win," said the New Zealander.

"I know there's been a lot of criticism about us putting ourselves in positions and when you look back at the last few years, there's probably half a dozen [or] seven or eight games that there's only been a few points between winning and losing games that we've been in front [in].

"And there's no-one more aware of that than ourselves about how disappointed we have been that we haven't been able to get across the line and we're desperate to do that.

"There's been criticism this week and nothing I can't handle and you thrive on criticism - that's part of professional sport.

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Wales coach Warren Gatland talks to the media ahead of the Test against South Africa

"And I'm like the players - if we lose a match I don't sleep for a couple of nights... and it would be nice to have finished this campaign on a real high."

Gatland believes Wales' discipline has improved during autumn defeats by Australia and New Zealand and the narrow win over Fiji that was sandwiched between those two losses.

"The discipline last week [against the All Blacks] was excellent; in this campaign it's been pretty good.

"But the whole focus has been individually on each player making sure that they know their roles and responsibilities and making sure that they're as accurate as they possibly can [be].

"Players are going to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

Last six Wales v South Africa meetings
8 November 2008: Wales 15-20 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
13 November 2010: Wales 25-29 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
9 November 2013: Wales 15-24 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
14 June 2014: South Africa 38-16 Wales - Durban - report
21 June 2014: South Africa 31-30 Wales - Nelspruit - report

"But it's trying to alleviate and eliminate as many of those mistakes as you possibly can because that's the fine line and the difference sometimes between winning and losing these big matches."

Wales face South Africa in their final autumn Test on Saturday hoping to improve on their record of one win - in 1999 - and a 6-6 draw against the Springboks in 1970.

Defence coach Shaun Edwards has been among those to defend Gatland, who also guided the 2013 British and Irish Lions to victory over Australia.

Former Wales players Dafydd James and Gareth Llewellyn believe Gatland should remain in charge until at least the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland has been forced into three starting XV changes with Liam Williams taking over from injured George North on the wing.

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