Canterbury Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett is fighting to keep his job following the 16-6 loss to the Newcastle Knights on Friday night, reports have claimed.
The Bulldogs were in desperate need of a win against the Knights but came up short again. Newcastle had lost seven games on the bounce but still had enough to beat the Bulldogs. The loss was a huge blow to Barrett who admitted after the game that the performances just aren’t good enough.
“Until we learn to cut out those individual errors that we’re making, build pressure and come up with the right kick at the right time,” he told reporters after the game. “I sound like a broken record with the press conferences because it’s the same every week. It’s not good enough.”
Bottom of the ladder
Now there is a huge question mark over whether Barrett is the man to take the club forward. Expectations were high heading in to the new campaign. 2021 was a tough year but big improvements were expected following the arrival of some big-name stars.
Josh Addo-Carr arrived from the Melbourne Storm, Matt Burton from Penrith. But still the Bulldogs find themselves bottom of the ladder with just two wins all season.
It looked like they may have turned the corner after a shock round eight win over the Roosters. That came after Bulldogs football chief Phil Gould had ripped in to the players in training. He also took the session and it seemed to work.
Since then they have lost to the Raiders and Knights and the knives are out for Barrett again. He has won just five games out of 34 since taking the job.
Barrett appears to have the backing of Gould, but the members are getting restless. They are far from happy with what they are seeing on the pitch and that could force the board to act.
Canterbury Bulldogs board could take action
News Corp journalist Brent Read believes the pressure is on the board. “If they don’t do what those members say, they get voted out,” Read told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Danny Weidler agrees and says the Bulldogs could be forced in to a decision sooner rather than later. He says Gould does not want to sack Barrett. But the results on the pitch say it all.
“What’s worse for the coach is that he has overseen the majority of the recruits who are at the club,” Weidler wrote in the Herald. “I’ve asked Gould on numerous occasions about the Barrett strategy and he has backed him strongly.”
Reed Mahoney and Viliame Kikau will also be on board for next season. Two huge signings. But it remains to be seen if Barrett will still be at the helm to coach them.