Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire’s future uncertain after Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs loss

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The Herald reported on Sunday that the trust between Maguire and some of his players has eroded due to belief internally that Maguire isn’t transparent and conveys mixed messages.

It was also reported that halfback Luke Brooks has not enjoyed his time under the coach and was recently shopped to the Bulldogs by his management.

The Tigers were embarrassed 38-0 on Sunday by the hapless Bulldogs.

The Tigers were embarrassed 38-0 on Sunday by the hapless Bulldogs.Credit:Getty

The Tigers played like a team without regard for the future of the coach, coming into the game knowing full well the implications of their performance on Maguire’s tenure.

While they were missing a number of top-line players – including Adam Doueihi, James Tamou, Daine Laurie and Moses Mbye – they were made to look like a reserve grade team against a side that has struggled to score points for the past few seasons.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Maguire remained calm in the sheds after full-time and thanked the players who were moving on at the end of the year.

When asked in the post-match press conference if he was the right man for the job, Maguire said: “Ah, yep. Yep.”

“I know exactly where the team is going. The organisation knows where the team is going. We have to make sure we continue to be disciplined about what we’re trying to build here. Changing teams and changing pathways of clubs takes a little bit of time. It doesn’t mean you can’t get better performances than that on the park, I acknowledge that. But it’s about continually just sticking to the path of where we’re going with this group.

“People continually refer to 10 years (missing the finals), but it’s about the future and where we’re going. You saw a lot of youth out there. We had 12 blokes on the sideline, we will be a different team next year. We have the makings of what it takes to move forward in the competition and grow the team.”

Maguire has blamed the decisions of Ivan Cleary for his team’s failures during his three-year tenure. He now has an inferior success rate to Jason Taylor when he was sacked after three rounds in 2018.

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Former Sharks premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan is looking for a job but there doesn’t appear to be much appetite from the Tigers to consider him. Other options include Penrith assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo, former Cowboys coach Paul Green, ex-Sharks coach John Morris, St Helens coach Kristian Woolf and Catalans coach Steve McNamara.

Wayne Bennett is off contract but insists he is returning to live in Queensland next year.

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