Canterbury coach Trent Barrett has dismissed all the commotion surrounding Phil Gould taking a training session and says the Bulldogs GM of football is there to help him.
Rumours of unrest at the club moved in to overdrive this week following an incident at training on Tuesday. Reports claimed that Gould had stormed in to a video session being run by Barrett. He then lambasted the players, in particular the spine, for their recent performances.
Gould then continued to take the training session with Barrett watching on from a distance. It remains to be seen how much of what was reported is correct. Barrett did confirm that Gould was involved, but it was with his own blessing.
Canterbury set to face Roosters
It has also been suggested that the players needed a kick up the backside from another voice. Hence the spray that came from Gould on Tuesday.
Addressing the media ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Roosters, Barrett was keen to set the record straight. Barrett insists the players know who their coach is and Gould is just there to help.
“It was my idea that he was on there,” Barrett told reporters. “He certainly does not undermine me in anything I do here. If anything he is here to help.
“Why wouldn’t I use the resource of Phil Gould at the club? “He is the GM of football, he is a very good premiership-winning coach.
“He is here to help and we’re in it together. It’s been blown into something that wasn’t an issue.”
Even so the pressure is mounting on Barrett. Despite some high-profile new additions, the Bulldogs sit bottom of the ladder with a 1-7 record. Some have argued that Canterbury have gone backwards on last season and a change is needed.
Gould has shown in the past that he can wield the axe with no hesitation. He famously sacked both Ivan Cleary and Anthony Griffin while at Penrith. Griffin left with the Panthers on the verge of the top four.
Barrett in control
Barrett finds himself in a far more precarious position but says he does not fear for his job. And he insists he is also in control of the team.
“No way (is it being diminished). The boys know who the coach is,” Barrett added. “Gus doesn’t interfere with any tactical things. He will give an opinion and give an opinion to me. We speak regularly. That’s his job.
“If I think a different voice can help the team at a certain stage, why wouldn’t I? I’d be silly not to.”