Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Greg Alexander: 'Time should be called on Andrew McFadden'

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden. Photo /  Doug Sherring.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden. Photo / Doug Sherring.

Greg Alexander admits to being baffled by the Warriors' travails.

But the former NRL, State of Origin and Australian test star - who is making his mark as league's high profile TV comments man - says time should be called on coach Andrew McFadden after two extremely disappointing seasons.

The Warriors' top eight hopes disintegrated in the shock defeat to the Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium meaning a fifth consecutive season without finals football. The silence from Warriors HQ has been deafening since Sunday with none of the usual support for McFadden from chief executive Jim Doyle.

Former Warrior Alexander said: "I forecast the Warriors in my top eight again and they pulled the wool over my eyes again. I don't know what I was thinking considering they lost eight in a row at the end of last season with the same coach. I need to lay on a couch and be examined.

"We seem to go in circles and end up saying the same things again and again.

But five years outside the top eight is way too long for a side like the Warriors.

"Yes, just for the hell of it (change the coach). We can go through all those reasons, the things that might have conspired against them. But it didn't work last year, and it didn't work this year. So change it.

"I was surprised he stayed after losing the last eight games last year. I thought 'that's it'. That can't work. It's obviously broken and needs to be fixed."

Radio Sport's Mark Watson speaks with Warriors coach Andrew McFadden:

Mark Gasnier, another former Aussie star turned top TV analyst, was non-committal over the coaching situation, saying club insiders alone would know the "culture and dynamics". But he was mystified by some McFadden selections, suggesting the coach was trying to keep others happy with regular changes in the halves and at fullback once Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was injured.

"I definitely don't have enough information to offer an opinion on whether he should stay or not," Gasnier said. "But sometimes you have to make (selection) decisions that don't please everyone but benefit the group."

Is there light at the end of the tunnel then?

"At the moment, the game doesn't always reward the most talented team but instead rewards the most disciplined and patient and some might even say boring teams," said Gasnier.

"The Warriors have to find that balance - their problems are more mental than physical. Consistency is the key to unlocking the Warriors. It's not as if you guys can't do it though - look at the All Blacks. They are a perfect balance of extreme talent and being really mentally tough."

Gasnier said his time at the Dragons proved a point.

"We had a champion team in 2005 and 2006 but were inconsistent and didn't win a comp," said Gasnier.

"In 2010 we had a lesser team on paper but one that was broken down to jobs that individuals needed to do to achieve our goal, a premiership. The most important thing was an unbelievable commitment to that goal both on and off the field."

Australian league caller Andrew Voss, who covered the Warriors in 2013, believes the club must confirm its coaching intentions quickly, and thinks McFadden deserves another season to prove his worth...unless Storm supremo Craig Bellamy becomes available.

Voss said: "I take things like injuries and golden point defeats on board. But from all angles they have under-achieved - I predicted they would make the top four.

"They need to sort out their defence - poor defence puts too much pressure on the attack. There are numbers you can't avoid - they conceded 36 points on Sunday, and 561 for the season. Only one club has conceded more.

"Every great coach will tell you that when it comes to defence, you can give players structure but it takes effort and attitude. Individually and collectively, they have to take a look at themselves."

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