Warriors 'pretty upset' by Bluey's exit
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 11:53a.m.
By Angela Beswick
The New Zealand Warriors are on the hunt for a new head coach, after the shock resignation of Brian ‘Bluey’ McClennan this morning.
Having joined the team last August, Bluey was contracted until the end of 2013, but a disastrous season – which could see the Warriors finish dead last – has seen him pull the plug early.
Bluey says at the end of the day, the Warriors just lost too many games.
“We had good leads and we never kicked on and got the job done,” he said.
He blamed an injury-plagued season for the Warriors' disappointing position at 13th on the ladder.
“I’ve got five players in my main core leadership group and never had five of them on the field at once this year,” he said. “In fact, I’ve never had four of them on the field at once this year.”
Current assistant coach Tony Iro will step up as head coach for the remaining two games of the 2012 NRL season.
He told media this morning the important thing for the Warriors now is that they finish the season “on a really good note”.
“Two games, we can still get something out of it. For the players, their families and especially for our members who have stuck by us.”
The players, informed of Bluey’s resignation this morning, are said to be “pretty upset”.
“I just hope that they can come through and finish the season strongly for Tony [Iro] which would help his cause,” Bluey said.
“We’ve had a good talk about it this morning. They’ve gone home to have a good think, they’ve had a good chat amongst themselves,” Iro said.
“There’s a lot of hurt there as well; Brian was part of this team, part of this group – they feel a certain amount of responsibility.”
For the Warriors poor performance this season, Bluey says the buck stops with him.
“I sit up the front. I lead it. It comes down to me – that’s the way it is.
“I don’t think I’m no fool; I know my game, it just didn’t pan out how I would have liked to this year. That’s the way it goes; I’m the head coach, I cop it.”
But Iro says the Warriors issues are no secret.
“I don’t think it was anyone’s particular fault – we’ve had issues in a lot of areas, certainly with injuries, a young squad – they’ve all been talked about.”
The plan going forward is to keep it simple, Iro says.
“It’s an opportunity – it’s a sad way to get an opportunity - but at the end of the day my job now is to try and get a couple of wins on the board.”
Bluey says he will continue to support the Warriors and has no regrets from his tenure.
“Any decision I made, at that time, I thought that was the right thing to do at the time.
“It’s a fine line between winning and losing.”
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