Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has reiterated his desire to coach on in 2016, saying the club board should act on his coaching future for the good of his players and coaches.
Malthouse, 61, is out of contract at the end of the season, with much speculation swirling as to whether he will stay on for a fourth season with the Blues already.
Richmond’s round one defeat of Carlton confirmed the club faces an uphill struggle to make the AFL finals, which could make or break the veteran’s future.
But Malthouse told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show that it wasn’t his own future he was most confirmed about.
He said his assistant coaching group – which includes Dean Laidley, John Barker and Brad Green – were also out of contract which could create uncertainty at Princes Park.
“As far as I’m concerned, que sera,” he said.
“The club have decided … half-way through last year that my contract wouldn’t be looked at until after this year.
“That sits OK with me.
“But I’m more concerned about my fellow assistant coaches and how they feel.”
Malthouse said his experience at Collingwood, which planned a strategic transition from himself to Nathan Buckley, gave him an insight into how the months ahead might play out.
“Everyone will say ‘It won’t be a distraction to the players’, but it will be,” he said.
“I’ve been through this at Collingwood and I know that it will be a distraction.
“It’s up to us as a coaching panel to lessen that.”
The three-time premiership coach said he still had the motivation to stay in a senior coaching role despite starting out in the same role with Footscray in 1984.
“If I wasn’t (still hungry) I’d bail out,” he said.
“You can’t be a fraud in this game because you let too many people down.”
Malthouse raised eyebrows last month by saying he could not see a game the Blues would lose in 2015.
That loss arrived quickly, with the Tigers sailing home on Thursday night’s season-opener to win by 17-points.
But Malthouse explained his positive thinking, saying he wanted to have an uplifting effect on the club.
“If you’re not an optimist in this game. you’re read very quickly by your playing group,” he said.
“If you’re negative they will be negative.
“If we can get our side together and have a good run at it we’re going to be highly competitive.
“I’d like to think we can win more games than we’d lose and history shows you’ve got a chance of making (the finals).”