David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Warriors managing director denies the club are looking at other coaching options

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has found himself under pressure following a string of inconsistent performances from his side. Photo / Getty
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has found himself under pressure following a string of inconsistent performances from his side. Photo / Getty

Warriors managing director Jim Doyle has again thrown his support behind besieged coach Andrew McFadden and denied the club is speaking to other contenders about replacing him mid-season.

Talk has intensified following the seven tries to none Anzac Day 42-0 defeat to Melbourne that McFadden is on borrowed time as coach, having had just three wins in the last 16 games, with former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary and ex-Manly coach Geoff Toovey rumoured to be in the mix to replace him.

But Doyle, as he has done repeatedly this season, insists McFadden has the backing and trust of he and club owner Eric Watson, and remains the man entrusted to bring about long-term change and improvement at the club.

"There's no truth to any of that stuff," said Doyle when asked if the club were considering their coaching options.

"We haven't been speaking to Ivan or Geoff and we've said all along, our job, Eric's and mine, particularly, is to get this club to be successful.

"We want Cappy (McFadden) to be the coach who does that. We try and support him in every single way we can, but the ultimate goal is we want the club to be successful.
"So we're doing everything we can to make that happen."

Make no mistake, Doyle is fuming and embarrassed over the passive nature of the Warriors latest loss and the inability of the players to string together consistent performances.

The hard work being put in by management, together with McFadden and his assistant coaches, was being undermined by a playing group that has been told is not performing up to standard.

"It's the way that we lost that makes us all feel embarrassed," he said. "You look at their performance against the Bulldogs, who are a good team, the boys played well and stood up for each other. It had all the attributes that we all want.

"Off the field we're working 16, 17, 18 hours every day to make things better and the players just didn't pitch up. It's extremely disappointing."

Doyle denied it was easy for the players to return home after such defeats and find comfort in the unwavering support of their friends and loved ones, knowing their place in New Zealand's only NRL club remains secure.

However, he was at a loss to explain why personal pride and a desire and determination to perform better for those close to them, as well as for the club and team, was not more evident from every Warriors player.

"The players have all got families, mums and dads, and sisters and brothers and extended family, who are going to work or school every day and no doubt embarrassed.

"You cannot tell me there's not one of those mums and dads who went to work on Tuesday morning was not embarrassed by how their son performed, or how the team their son plays for performed.

"They've all got family known by their friends and work colleagues and wider family, as a part of the Warriors family.

"And that's what surprises me - how can they not get up on a consistent basis to play the best they can for the club, or their family or for personal pride? That's the most frustrating part."

Despite their three-and-five win-loss record, Doyle remains confident they have the talent on hand to make the top eight.

But he says the biggest and most important challenge for the club is to reduce the gulf that currently exists between the side's thrilling best and diabolical worst.

"Our number one priority is to get those poor performances to a higher standard so that the difference between our best and our worst is not anywhere near what it is at the moment."

- NZ Herald

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