A defiant Mick Potter claims he’s still the right man to coach the Wests Tigers with pressure mounting on the 49-year-old to keep his job.
Thursday was another eventful day in a difficult 18 months for the Tigers who issued a statement confirming three members of the backroom staff would leave at the end of season.
Chief executive Grant Mayer, who had appointed Potter as Catalans coach in the English Super League in 2006, gave few assurances about the mentor seeing out the second season of his two-year deal.
“There’s no doubt that he’s had some outstanding success as coach and he was obviously a tremendously gifted player,” Mayer said.
“That aside, the board and management of the club need to fully understand the position we find ourselves in and work with Mick to come to the best outcome for both himself and the club.
“There are many options we can consider. The most favourable of these options is to work with Mick to develop a coaching structure and provide the personnel the club needs to create a consistent winning attitude.”
Potter accepted the blame for the club’s poor form lay at his feet but he was hopeful of remaining having overseen the blooding of youngsters David Nofoaluma and Jack Buchanan and the development of Tim Simona, Curtis Sironen and James Tedesco.
“I think I’m doing a good job … I’m confident I’m doing a good job,” Potter said.
“The signs are there the club is moving forward. There are a lot of young guys who are stepping up right now.
“We are not getting the results right now but the future is looking good.”
“You are never really sure but I understand I’m under contract for another 12 months.
“I’m confident of keeping my job.
“I take responsibility for the football team. We are where we are a little bit because of circumstances beyond our control but we have had a tough year.
“We don’t shy away from that but I’m confident the club is moving forward.”
The club wouldn’t confirm who the members of staff given their marching orders are, but it’s thought to be assistant coaches Steve Georgallis and Royce Simmons and rehabilitation manager Andrew Leeds, who were all brought in by former coach Tim Sheens.
Defeat by the cellar-dwelling Eels, who go into the game on the back of 10 straight losses, would intensify the pressure on Potter.
Should the club opt to axe the 49-year-old with a year still remaining on his contract it would see them in a position of paying wages to three coaches.
Sheens is still on the payroll having been shown the door last season with two years left on his $450,000 a year contract.
Reports in New Zealand have also claimed Benji Marshall will be presented by the Auckland Blues Super Rugby franchise as their new 2014 signing on Saturday, 24 hours after playing at Parramatta Stadium.
However, Marshall’s manager Martin Tauber said nothing has yet been agreed with the Blues and the Tigers have still to sign off on his early release.
There was also some talk from across the Tasman that the Eels game could also be Marshall’s swansong.
“I’ve no idea where that has come from,” Tauber told AAP.
“He wants to play until the end of the year and is desperate to play his 200th game against South Sydney in a few weeks.
“The Tigers haven’t signed off on a release yet so until the end of the season he’s not going anywhere.”