Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Simon Mannering: There is no magic fix for Warriors

Simon Mannering congratulated by fans on his 250th game. Photosport
Simon Mannering congratulated by fans on his 250th game. Photosport

Simon Mannering is upbeat about the Warriors' coaching changes announced yesterday, but says there is no magic fix for the Auckland club.

After the hype and fanfare yesterday - which saw Stephen Kearney brought in, Andrew McFadden retained, Stacey Jones promoted and a collection of high achievers forming a football advisory board - it was appropriate the Mannering brought a dose of realism to the situation.

The 30-year-old, who was named player of the year for the fifth time on Tuesday night, has seen a lot of changes at Mt Smart, including five head coaches and a truckload of assistants.

Mannering is supportive of the new Kearney/Jones/McFadden arrangement but warns that the men with the clipboard can only do so much.

"It's not going to be a magic fix, like yep, done, we will be there," said Mannering. "At the end of the day us players are on the field and we have to perform.

It doesn't matter who is coaching us, we have to get out on the field and perform as a team"

"We don't realise how good we do have it here, how much we get. Everything is there for us, in terms of facilities, staff, the way the organization is run. At the end of the day we have to perform."

Mannering admitted he was slightly torn about the news.

"I have a foot in both camps," said Mannering. "I'm very happy for Mooks (Kearney) that he gets a chance to be head coach. He's such a great coach and person I know he will do a good job. But I'm also disappointed for Cappy (McFadden). I feel for [him] that he is losing his role but [after] speaking to Cappy he is content with his new role and wants what is best for the club.

Though the arrangement is unusual, Mannering said it was a tribute to McFadden's professionalism.

"A lot of coaches would never go from head coach role to assistant coach," said Mannering. "It would be `no bugger you I'm going'. [But] I'm not surprised, that is the kind of bloke he is. He cares so much about the team and wants to do what is best for the club, it is not about him. Those two together will make a great team."

Mannering also endorsed current assistant David Kidwell as the logical successor to Kearney with the national side, as Kearney steps away from the Kiwis after almost a decade in charge.

"[David] is obviously a familiar face and has been there," said Mannering. "Mooks has created something great at international level over the years and I know if Kiddy (Kidwell) gets the job he will carry it on.

"[Stephen] been there for so long but Kiddy has been there the last couple of years. The boys respect him and he is a real voice and great coach in that environment."

- NZ Herald

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