Cowboys give Green light for 2020
IT can often be a kiss of death for an NRL coach, but the chairman of the North Queensland Cowboys has given an unequivocal guarantee that embattled coach Paul Green will not be sacked this year despite a falling out with skipper Michael Morgan.
Cowboys boss Laurence Lancini concedes there is pressure after two disappointing seasons and admits Green does not have a great relationship with every player at the club.
"It's like some school teachers," Lancini said, "Some students like them, some don't.
Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favourite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $25/month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial >
"I can't say every player loves the coach but at the end of the day they've got to respect him."
A story has emerged about Green offending Morgan at a function in Newcastle after the heavy 42-6 loss to the Knights last weekend.
"Greeny apparently said something about his leadership," Lancini said, "I don't think there was much aggression in it.
"The last thing anyone wants to see is your coach and your captain having an argument. I'm not happy about it but at the end of the day as long as they're both man enough to talk about it.
"Both Michael and Greeny have told me they've now cleared the air."
The Cowboys chairman says it is not uncommon for a coach to have issues with players.
"We've had a few coaches at our club and I can't say every player was in love with every coach," he said.
"As long as a coach gets the best out of players you don't have to love each other."
There has been talk in recent days that Queensland State of Origin coach
Kevin Walters had been approached, despite the fact Green has two seasons to run on an $800,000-a-year contract.
"I can tell you very clearly that is absolutely untrue," Lancini said, "There have been no discussions. I can tell you that unequivocally.
"We have no intention at all of sacking Paul Green. Very clearly, no intention."
LISTEN! In this week's episode of the Matty Johns Podcast, Matty, Kenty and Finchy look at the challenge confronting the Knights, name their team of the decade and ask who wins an NRL coaches fight night.
With two coaches already dumped this year - Garth Brennan and Nathan Brown - there has been constant speculation about the future of Green and St George-Illawarra's Paul McGregor.
"As soon as a team isn't performing, the media
looks at the coach and ask questions if he's going to be sacked," Lancini said.
"Yes, we've had our issues and lots of injuries. At one stage $4 million of the salary cap was unavailable. We've had to put forwards in the centres. But Paul Green took us to two grand finals in three years."