Daryl Powell: Warrington Wolves chairman admits the club got appointment wrong 

Josh McAllister
Daryl Powell Warrington Wolves head coach. News Images

Warrington Wolves departed ways with Daryl Powell on Sunday. Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images

Warrington Wolves chairman Stuart Middleton believes the club’s board made the wrong decision in appointing former head coach Daryl Powell.

Powell, 58, was hired from Castleford on a three-year deal, but departed the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday following the side’s fifth consecutive defeat.

The 42-6 result at Belle Vue marked the side’s seventh defeat in eight and dropped the Wire to sixth position on the Super League table, having started the campaign with eight wins to sit at the top.

Speaking with BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Phil Kinsella, Middleton admitted the club’s mistakes, with the search now on for their next permanent head coach.

“I think this has been coming for a while actually,” Middleton said. “I think Sunday was the pinnacle.

“We started off well, winning the first eight games, then after that we dropped off.

“I think the Magic Weekend [defeat] against Hull was disappointing. And then to be knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the way we did against [12-man] Wigan, that started the questions, ‘We’ve got a good squad on paper there, why are we dropping off?’

“From there, we started asking the questions and it was going downhill and we started to lose games and we thought this can’t continue.

“It just was the icing on the cake, no disrespect to Wakefield, but they are at the bottom and they out-enthused us, out-played us, out-skilled us, and that wasn’t right.

“We thought it was a time for change.”

Warrington made wrong decision to appoint Daryl Powell, says chairman

Powell’s debut season in charge saw the club finish a miserable 11th spot above relegated-Toulouse, with Powell undergoing a massive squad overhaul for 2023.

That saw the likes of captain Jack Hughes, Gareth Widdop, Robbie Mulhern and Jason Clark leave the club, with Josh McGuire, Paul Vaughan and Josh Drinkwater recruited.

McGuire, 33, was later axed following his second lengthy suspension for unacceptable language. He made just seven appearances.

Asked if Powell’s original appointment was the wrong decision, Middleton responded: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? But, probably, yes. I think we did.

“I’m asking the questions now and we’ve got to look at ourselves as well and what we got wrong as well.

“We had too many changes too quick and I think the way we treated people wasn’t quite right as well, that didn’t sit with me very well.

“I think last year getting rid of so many players, I don’t think we brought the right ones in.

“We’re short in the forwards and last year’s results were very disappointing, again after putting all the resources in place, and I think we’ve learned now that in the future we’ve got to ask more questions and not just give someone free rein and let them do what they want.”

The club’s search for next head coach

Middleton admits the board have every confidence in interim boss Gary Chambers while the club searches for their next permanent boss.

Justin Holbrook, who was believed to be the club’s #1 target, has rejected a move to the HJS to sign with Sydney Roosters as an assistant coach from 2024.

Shaun Wane, Lee Briers and Adam O’Brien were other names priced by Super League’s sponsors Betfred earlier this week, while Salford’s Paul Rowley has recently entered the mix.

“We’ve had some phone calls already, especially overseas as well,” Middleton explained.

“We’ve got some options there and that might happen in the next couple of weeks, it might happen next month.

“We have put together a target list and no doubt we’ll be getting some enquiries now as well, which we have done.

“If we have to go to Australia, then that’s what we’ll do, we’ll jump on a plane and get out there and we’re going to do it right.

“We’re not going to panic. We’ve got every confidence in Gary Chambers, he loves the club. He’s been here a long time.

“We’ve got every confidence that he’ll take it back to basics and give the boys some motivation and confidence.”

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