David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Warriors boss Jim Doyle says players need to be more accountable

Warriors five-eighth Shaun Johnson cuts a dejected figure during Saturday's defeat to Manly. Photo/Getty.
Warriors five-eighth Shaun Johnson cuts a dejected figure during Saturday's defeat to Manly. Photo/Getty.

Warriors managing director Jim Doyle is unhappy with the club's poor start to the NRL season but has defended under-pressure coach Andrew McFadden and says the players need to be more accountable for their below-par performances.

Doyle is disappointed with the Warriors inconsistent form that sees them with just two wins from the opening six rounds but rejects criticism from former Australian test captain Brad Fittler who described Saturday's 34-18 defeat to Manly as "terrible" and "sad to watch".

Speaking on Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show, Fittler slammed the Warriors' "unprofessional actions" in an error-ridden display against the Sea Eagles and said that if he was a Warriors fan "I wouldn't go next week".

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"Obviously we're disappointed as well, when we make errors and put ourselves under pressure," Doyle said in response to Fittler's comments.

"And that's something that the coaching staff are working on with the players so that we can hopefully eliminate them from our game.

"We've got lots of our fans and members who can't wait until next week to see them play better. There's not many of our fans who'd say they don't want to go and watch them next week because that's not a true fan."

Doyle also expressed frustration that McFadden's future continues to be questioned whenever the team fails to perform and believes the players need to shoulder more responsibility for failing to reach the standards the club is aiming for.

"That is frustrating because obviously Cappy (McFadden) didn't drop balls and he didn't miss tackles and therefore our players need to be more and more accountable," he said.

"You can't just (have it so), every time the team goes well the team gets the credit but every time the team doesn't go well the coach gets the blame."

He admits the Warriors have not performed as well as he expected and understands both the high expectations around their star-studded roster and the resulting frustrations that emerge when the side performs poorly.

Despite criticism that the club is still hampered by the same old problems around inconsistency and a lack of mental and defensive steel, Doyle sees positives in the fact they have the players with the talent to help the team improve, and understands it is taking time for new signings Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke to settle in alongside chief playmaker Shaun Johnson.

"There has been a lot of things changed obviously," said Doyle. "No, I didn't think we'd be two and four but I know how tough the competition is. I knew that with some of the new players that it would take a little bit of time, that they wouldn't just click and gel straight from day one.

"When you look at the roster that we've got with people like Roger, Issac and others that we've brought in this year, with Shaunand Tui (Lolohea) there's high expectations.

"We'd like to be winning every game but we're still working on as many things as we can to get the team to achieve the heights that we want.

"That's probably one of the things that people both here and Australia (feel). They get frustrated that the Warriors don't always achieve their potential.

"People talk a lot about if the Warriors get it right they can be a real juggernaut and therefore when they don't get it right people get frustrated with it."

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