Senior Manly Warringah players Daly Cherry-Evans and Brenton Lawrence have labelled the criticism of Head Coach Trent Barrett as unfair on the back of the team’s opening two losses at Lottoland.
Speaking to the media this morning, Cherry-Evans described talk over Barrett’s future as Sea Eagles coach as ‘comical’.
“He has got my support. I don’t think there is much more I can really do or add to it to stop it,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
“I find it pretty comical. I know it is someone’s job on the line but it is outrageous to think that it is even a possibility after two rounds. It is not even a topic of conversation in the dressing rooms. It honestly isn’t.
“No one should feel under pressure. It is only round two.”
Cherry-Evans also defended the role of coaches and the pressure placed on them.
“It is something that has snowballed in rugby league, the coaches’ hot seat. I just can’t comprehend why the coaches are under so much scrutiny in the game,’’ the Manly captain added.
“I can’t think of any of the 16 coaches that wouldn’t be preparing their side the best they possibly can every week.
“After that it is up to the 17 players to go out there and get a win for them. If players aren’t delivering for a coach, I feel it a bit unfair for a coach to be on the hot seat.
“It is rugby league, it doesn’t make it right or wrong, but that’s exactly what has happened right now.”
Cherry-Evans said the loss of seven straight matches, including the last five of last season – is not even a factor.
“Last year I feel is so irrelevant to this year. It doesn’t flow into one. This is a new year. We have got a lot of new faces,’’ he added.
“We are chasing that first win, and hopefully it is coming soon. I like to think it is.”
Lawrence was just as amazed over the harsh criticism of Barrett.
“I don’t know where that comes from. It must come from people who are not in the same position or have never been in a similar position,’’ Lawrence said.
“Trent Barrett is probably the most dedicated person I have seen in rugby league. He has given his heart and soul to this squad, and to this club.
“To come into a club where people have said ‘you don’t belong here’ or ‘what are you doing here’, he has taken it in his stride. With all that, he still has committed himself absolutely to this club.
“I feel myself, as a squad, we have probably let him down over the first two rounds. We are a lot better football team than one that has lost two games. It is round two.”
“Plenty of sides have turned it around and have gone on to have a successful season. Some of the things that have been said have probably come from people who have no idea of what they are talking about.
“We are the players who carry the ball, drop the ball, make the tackles, and miss the tackles. A coach can only do so much.
“I’m certainly sticking by him. He is doing a great job.”