Penrith boss Phil Gould says he has no regrets signing coach Anthony Griffin, despite the side’s slow start to the NRL season.
Gould stunned the league by sacking previous coach Ivan Cleary last October after his injury-ravaged side missed last year’s finals series and almost finished with the wooden spoon.
Griffin was immediately introduced with the expectation of lifting the Panthers up the NRL tree, however, he has so far just managed one win – a one-point victory over Brisbane in round three.
But Gould said the former Brisbane mentor has been a valuable asset to the club’s developing squad.
“We’ve had four games, they’ve all gone down to the last minute and we’ve been a chance of winning all four,” Gould told AAP.
“But that’s what you go through when you’ve got a young side. They’re still learning their football. That might take a couple of years yet, but we’re prepared to ride that out.”
Gould was hesitant to compare Griffin to Cleary, but said he was pleased with the current coach’s changes to the team over the opening four rounds.
He insisted Griffin was the right man for the job.
“All coaches are different. They all bring their own nuances and beliefs about the game, and the way the side has trained and prepared,” Gould said.
“To wrap Anthony doesn’t mean I’m being detrimental to anything that’s gone before him. Ivan did great work here, but right now I believe he’s the right coach for this club and for these players at this time.”
Griffin himself has been frustrated with the team’s inability to close out games, including when they held late leads in two of their past three matches.
However, he was pleased with their application in defence.
“Up until the last couple of minutes of Bulldogs and St George game, we were in a couple of those games. We’ve just got to stare that in the face and get better,” he said.
“We were a little bit loose last week, but attitude-wise, up until that last try by (Josh) Dugan, we kept Brisbane scoreless in the second half of that previous game and we kept the opposition to eight points.
“So we’re showing a lot of grit and determination there.”
The Panthers meet Parramatta on Sunday.