Wests Tigers new boy Oliver Gildart has jumped to the defence of Michael Maguire and says the under-fire coach has the backing of the players.
The pressure was on Maguire heading into the new season. The Tigers have not got off to the best of starts and sit 0-2.
There were encouraging signs during a 10-point loss to Melbourne Storm in round one. But they were blown off the park against the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.
The manner of the 26-4 loss at McDonald Jones Stadium has sent alarm bells ringing the through the club. There have been early calls for Maguire to lose his job.
Wests Tigers finals drought
It is 10 years since the Tigers last played finals; and the thought of missing out on the eight in 2022 does not bare thinking about.
The club made changes behind the scenes during the off-season. Former Hull KR and Widnes coach Tim Sheens was drafted in as the Tigers new football chief.
Maguire was told his job was safe and a host of new signings were drafted in. Gildart was one of them arriving from Wigan along with Warriors team-mate Jackson Hastings.
Expectations were high heading into the new season; and although it is far too early to make a call on Maguire, some of the fans think enough is enough.
Gildart backs Maguire
Not so Gildart, who has every faith in Maguire and is backing him to turn things around.
“Madge is one of the best coaches out there and he is one of the main reasons I came here,” Gildart said.
“He had a lot of success at my old club and how he developed players and I really want to be a part of that.”
Sheens has come out and revealed Maguire’s job is safe. Gildart also insists the coach has the full support of the dressing room.
“I have only been here two games and Madge has improved me as a player and a person and he is someone I really enjoy being coached by,” Gildart added.
“We will keep turning up for him we know what he brings to this team and we are all very thankful he is here.”
The Tigers are back in action on Friday. They entertain the New Zealand Warriors and are in desperate need of a win.